The Tri-Valley volleyball team has been seeking consistency all season long.
On Monday night, the Lady Dawgs might have found it.
The Scotties were strong from the start in a 25-13, 25-22, 25-13 victory against Muskingum Valley League rival Maysville in the opening game of the Division II sectional volleyball tournament at River View High School.
Tri-Valley (17-6) returns to action at 6 p.m. Thursday against New Philadelphia.
“We have been up and down this year and we really preached team unity in practice leading up to this game,” Tri-Valley coach Leigh Ann Longaberger said. “We need that consistency from every player in every game and tonight we figured that out.”
Quick starts were big for Tri-Valley all night, as they opened up big leads in games one and three.
The match started with the Lady Dawgs scoring the first four points behind the play of Abby Maurer, two of which came on Katie Prince kills.
Tri-Valley led 9-3, 12-4 and 16-8 in the early stages of the opening game. Four points from Claire Ardrey all but sealed the opening game.
Game two went back-and-forth until three points from Courtney Blizzard made it 7-3 in favor of the Scotties.
Tri-Valley slowly built the lead to 19-13 only to see the Lady Panthers (12-9) fight back and get back into the game.
Two points from Gracie Lowe made it 20-18, and then a point from Madison Smith made it 21-20 before Tri-Valley got a kill from Sydney Miller and a point from Ardrey to close out the game.
“I actually discussed with our football coaches how difficult it was to keep intensity in practice when we were preparing for a team that we had beaten twice already,” Longaberger said. “The girls had a great practice on Friday and we came out ready to go.”
Game three was nearly a mirror image of game one as Tri-Valley led 9-3 and 15-6.
“Getting off to a quick start is important for this group because it helps us stay up and stay positive,” Longaberger said. “Overall it was a good team win tonight.”
Any thoughts of a Maysville comeback were put to rest when Prince stepped to the service line.
Prince had eight kills and Miller notched six to lead the Tri-Valley offense. Blizzard handed out nine assists and Maurer added seven. Both Blizzard and Maurer served at 100 percent on 27 attempts combined.
Maysville was led by Morgan Swauger, who had eight kills and a pair of blocks at the net. Erin Curry and Madison Smith each added four kills, with the former adding seven digs and the latter two assists and three digs.
Bailee Creeks added six assists and six digs while Gracie Lowe had seven digs and two kills.