Zane Trace and Huntington proved to be an even Scioto Valley Conference volleyball match Tuesday. But a tougher mentality by the Pioneers led them twice to rallies in the second and third sets to sweep the Huntsmen, 25-17, 25-20, 26-24.
Huntington looked to have control of the third set at 24-21. But trying to play error-free made the Huntsmen less aggressive, allowing a confident Zane Trace team to roar back with five unanswered points.
“We need to play more aggressive,” Huntington assistant coach Tina Magill said. “We just couldn’t finish. Zane Trace never gave up, and we need to have more of that mentality. (Zane Trace) never thought they were going to lose.”
Magill said the Pioneers’ final point to win the match was a perfect example.
“At the very end, we had a perfect set and we gave the ball to them instead of taking a kill,” she said. “(The Huntsmen were) too afraid of making errors.”
Zane Trace (14-3, 8-3 SVC) was led by a powerful performance by Kylan Strausbaugh, who had 16 kills and 15 digs. It was her performance in the third set that really put the Pioneers over the top.
“Strausbaugh played phenomenal,” Zane Trace coach Lori Koker said. “On defense, she had some great digs and then scored some great kills for us in that comeback in the third set.”
The Huntsmen (7-6, 4-7) were led by freshman Rikki Magill — who had 15 digs — and libero Alayna Lytle, who had 13 digs and 36 serve-receives.
Tina Magill said she was impressed with the Pioneers’ front line of seniors Haley Carle, Maleah Calhoun and Strausbaugh. She hopes her seniors will learn from watching Zane Trace’s seniors and begin scoring more points.
As Magill complimented the Pioneers up front, Koker envied Huntington’s aggressiveness.
“Huntington served aggressively and attacked our weakness of serve-receives,” Koker said. “We want to stay aggressive with our hitting.”
Koker said she was impressed with Strausbaugh’s game, but also spoke highly of Calhoun’s efforts as she led the team with five blocks.
“We have Strausbaugh, Carle and Chaffin up front and sometimes Chaffin gets overlooked,” Koker said. “Chaffin is probably our best at our weakness: serves and receives.”
The Pioneers will travel to Paint Valley on Thursday and the Hunstmen will celebrate Senior Night the same day against Southeastern.