As Licking Valley’s volleyball team breaks its huddle, it chants “One, two, three, TCB!”
Taking Care of Business is a theme familiar to Panther seniors such as Brittney Wilson, and Valley did that Tuesday in a 25-15, 25-11, 25-14 win against host Northridge that wrapped up at least a share of the Licking County League championship.
“(TCB) has a lot of meaning. We started that my freshman or sophomore year, so it’s a tradition for us,” said Wilson, also part of Valley’s 2011 Mid-State League-Ohio Division champions.
“To be the first to win the LCL when it came back, it means a lot,” coach Abby Fitz said. “It says a lot that we’ve won titles two of the last three years. But we have to take care of a little more business on Thursday.”
That’s when the Panthers (18-3, 15-2), who lead the LCL by a match, host dangerous Utica on Senior Night in a bid to win the title outright.
“It will definitely be emotional,” Wilson said. “Our last home game, against tough competition. Utica has really improved. They took Newark Catholic to five (sets). We have to bring it. We want the title all to ourselves.”
It also was Senior Night for the Vikings (3-14, 2-14), and they tried their best to stay with Valley.
Northridge trailed just 7-6 in the first set on a block by senior Sara Pribonic. But behind the setting of Laikyn Hrinko and Carly Skeese, the Panthers pulled away.
It was 10-10 in the second on a block by senior Addison Anderson. However, with Kori Locke serving, Valley scored 10 consecutive points, taking control of the set and the match.
The Panthers’ serving dominated the third set as Skeese had three aces and senior libero Kayla Anderson added a pair. Winning the title was something Anderson thought her team could accomplish from the start of the season.
“I thought we had it,” she said. “Every time we get down, we do the TCB, and we seem to find it.”
Mackenzie Hoyt had eight kills and Wilson seven kills and eight digs for Valley. Cassi Stein added six kills, Skeese had 12 assists and six aces, Hrinko 11 assists and four aces and Locke seven digs for the winners.
“I’m excited for Senior Night, because it’s our last (regular-season match), and we’re starting to get ready for tournaments,” Anderson said. “We have a good chance to go far.”
“We knew this league would be tough and get us prepared for the tournament,” Fitz said.
Viking coach John Smith agreed.
“It’s a great volleyball league and a great tournament prep league,” he said. “I think (Valley) will do well in the tournament.
“We had a starter out tonight with sickness and we had to move people around. Hunter Adkins had to set, we moved Faith Miller to hitter and Jamie Swickard played the middle. But I’m not unhappy. We played really solid against a very good team.”
Pribonic had four kills, Swickard three kills and Adkins two aces for Northridge.