Redskins polish off Blue Aces
PATASKALA — The Utica volleyball team took care of business Wednesday.
The Redskins rolled to a 25-14, 25-16, 25-9 victory over Granville in the Division II District semifinals at Licking Heights. The win puts them in the district finals Saturday against Highland, a winner over London.
Even though they took care of business, it wasn’t as easy as it looked as the Blue Aces gave Utica a couple of scares in the early going.
“I’d like to see us come out with more energy and excitement. It was kind of just taking care of business, but we didn’t really go beyond that,” said Utica coach Laurie Londot. “We’re excited to be in the district finals. We’re not taking anything for granted.”
The Redskins (22-3) scored the first four points of the match, but Granville (8-17) scored six of the next nine points to close the gap to one (7-6) and only trailed 13-11 when the Redskins finally made their move.
Utica scored six in a row and nine of the next 10 to take control of the first set.
The second set was more of the same, a battle with Utica finally taking control with a couple of 4-0 runs late in the contest.
The Redskins adjusted their attacks in the second set, using more of a tip-game and some back row spikes from Emily Londot to take control. That continued to work well in third, as they cruised to the victory.
“It’s something we’ve been working on. We know we’ve got to find some holes,” coach Londot said. “Emily is a good hitter and she knows they will have a lot of blocks on her, so she’s got to find some holes.
“We’ve worked a lot on trying to find our spots. Whether it be a tip, roll or a swing, we’ve got to do everything with a purpose.”
Emily Londot finished the night with 24 kills to lead the Redskins. She also had seven digs, three aces and two blocks.
But, it was Jeanne Moore’s play that had coach Londot the most stoked. The senior had 12 digs and three aces.
“I thought Jeanne played great today. She got in a zone. Her defense, she’d get into good spots, and every time she’d get the dig,” coach Londot said.
Sophomore setter Bella Ellis added 31 assists for the Redskins, while Lily Borem had four kills and Kloe Staugh had three digs and two kills.
Highland pounds way to win over London
PATASKALA — The Highland volleyball machine got rolling early Wednesday.
The Scots cruised to a straight set victory over London, 25-10, 25-8, 25-18, in the Division II District semifinals at Licking Heights.
“We had some spurts where we played pretty well (early on),” said Highland coach Rob Terrill. “I thought we put pretty good pressure on them (London) with our serves and our fast-paced attacks.”
The win put the Scots in Saturday’s district finals where they will face Utica at 2 p.m. at Licking Heights.
After trailing 3-1 in the opening set, the Scots (21-4) got things cranked up in a hurry, scoring four in a row and 15 of the next 16 points. Three aces by Raina Terry and some big hits from Kendall Stover and Makenna Belcher helped spark the 11-0 run that effectively put the set and match away.
A 7-0 run early in the second set pushed the Scots to the victory. Belcher (8 kills overall) swung the big arm again in that run.
Terry got her attacks going in that set as well, finishing the night with 14 kills.
From there, the Scots turned it on cruise control and rolled to the straight set victory.
“We scored 13 of their (London) 18 points. We only had five kills and 13 errors,” Terrill said. “You can’t give teams that many free points. We got a little wild.”
Terry finished the night with 14 kills and six aces to lead the Scots. Stover added nine kills an two aces, while Makenna Belcher had eight kills and Ashlynn Belcher had two aces.
Terry is especially familiar with the Scots’ next opponent — Emily Londot and the Utica Redskins. The two played together on Mintonette, a club volleyball team that won the AAU Nationals.
“Obviously, Emily is an awesome player. Her and Raina played together on an awesome team,” Terrill said. “The question is can we run the tempo the way we want to and can we control the ball?”
The Redskins and Scots will play Saturday at 2 p.m. at Licking Heights with the winner advancing to regional play next week at Heath.
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