WORTHINGTON — The East Knox Bulldogs’ volleyball season came to an end on Tuesday, as the top seeded Delaware Christian Eagles swept them in their sectional Division IV tournament matchup, 25-14, 25-18, 25-15, at Worthington Christian Middle School. The game also marked the end of the volleyball careers of Bulldogs’ seniors Hallie Rine, Meggan Bartok, Reign Hernandez and Jade Evans.

Geoff Cowles/News East Knox’s Jaclynn Mahle (17) and Meggan Bartok both reach for the ball during their Division III District semifinal match Tuesday with Delaware Christian.

“Our girls put up a great fight,” said East Knox coach Allie Henthorn. “They didn’t give in. They didn’t want to lose, so they put everything out there.”

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Geoff Cowles/News East Knox volleyball player Ellie Hagy (20) takes a shot while Delaware Christian’s Sloane Dellipoala (16) and Erin Blausbaugh (1) block during their Division III District semifinal match Tuesday at Worthington Christian. The Bulldogs fell in three sets.

Indeed, after losing the first set, the Bulldogs’ could have wilted, but they fought back in the second set, taking a 10-7 lead with Shanda Melick (five digs and a kill) serving.

The Eagles were relentless, however. Delaware Christian, quickly closed the gap, tying the second set at 13 with scores from Allison Grover, Emma Rindfuss and Abby Blackburn.

The Eagles, finally pulled ahead in the second set with Emma Bauslaugh serving. Katie Neuhart got a kill, for the Eagles. Teammate Lyssi Snouffer added a couple of scores to put the Eagles ahead, 20-14, in the second set. Rine (six kills, eight assists, two aces) landed an ace for the Bulldogs and Bartok (four kills, nine digs) put up a key block, but it wasn’t enough as the Eagles went up, two sets to none.

The Eagles’ serving was devastating in the third and final set. They landed seven aces, with three of them coming on serves where ball tipped the top of the net and fell on the Bulldogs’ side of the floor. When the Bulldogs had the opportunity, they battled hard, prolonging rallies and winning several points with good team effort. The Eagles were just too strong.

The Bulldogs also got three kills from Hernandez, while Evans had a pair of digs. Teammates Jaclynn Mahle and Madi Annett had three digs, along with a dig from teammate Ellie Hagy.

Despite the score, it was an effort that the entire Bulldogs’ team could be proud of — especially the seniors.

“For our seniors, this was their last game so they wanted to go out, giving it all they had and really work for something. They played very competitively tonight against a No. 1 seed. I couldn’t ask for more — not just in volleyball, but all around. They are tremendous kids. They put so much time and effort into this season and they truly deserve as much honor and glory as they could have. I’m really proud of them.”

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Geoff Cowles: 740-397-5333 or gcowles@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @http://twitter.com/mountvernonnews