By Jordan Holland
The Marietta Times
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Waterford’s Brooke Drayer (22) spikes home a winner as South Gallia’s Dellie Bostic (5) defends Thursday night.
WATERFORD - A win in four games over South Gallia Thursday night earned the Waterford High volleyball team a sectional championship.
The Lady Wildcats, now 19-4 on the season, defeated the Lady Rebels in the first two sets by scores of 25-12 and 25-16, lost the third set 25-23, then won the final set 25-18 to claim the match.
Waterford head coach Jandy Drayer said it wasn't the team's best performance.
"I really wasn't happy with the way we played," Drayer said. "A win is a win, though, and we'll take it."
South Gallia jumped out to a 4-2 lead, but from there, it was all Waterford in the first set. After Chelsey Paxton and Taylor Hilverding recorded kills to tie it at 4-4, Brooke Drayer served three aces to increase the lead to 9-4.
Later, Laura Hill and Paxton each got kills and then Paxton hit an ace to up the lead to 15-6. After Meghan Caldwell got a kill for South Gallia to make it 17-8, Drayer got a kill and Hill got an ace to make it 19-8. After the Rebels got two points back, Drayer and Paxton combined for four kills to make it 24-10. South Gallia got two more back before Paxton recorded a kill to end the first set with Waterford on top 25-12.
The Lady Wildcats kept it going in the second set, jumping out to an 11-3 advantage led by kills from Drayer, Paxton, Hill and Jayde Heiss. South Gallia fought back, as the two teams split the next 26 points making it 24-16. Allison Rohrer notched the final kill to put Waterford up 2-0 in the match.
The Rebels would not go quietly, as they fought for 25-23 win in the third set. They could not duplicate the effort in the fourth set, however, as the Wildcats won 25-18 to clinch the sectional.
Waterford got off to another hot start, taking a 5-1 lead paced by two kills from Drayer and an ace by Hill.
After South Gallia scored two to make it 5-3, Waterford re-took a four-point lead with kills from Heiss and Paxton.
Later, after Drayer and Paxton got kills to up the lead to 9-5, Drayer served an ace to make it 10-5.
For the Rebels, Caldwell and Brynn Adams each got kills to cut the lead to 10-8. Later in the set, with Waterford up 14-11, the Wildcats reeled off four straight points led by kills from Drayer and Maddy Sury.
Both teams went back and forth the rest of the way, with a kill by Alyssa Miller making it 22-16.
Waterford then scored two straight points, and after South Gallia responded with two points of its own, the Wildcats put it away with a kill by Paxton to win the set 25-18.
While pleased with the win, Coach Drayer would like to see improvement in certain areas.
"Our biggest thing right now is we've got to get our serves in," Drayer said.
"In the first game I felt like we did a nice job. I felt like our passing wasn't bad. We just hit it right to them every single time. We've got to work on trying to find a way to mix things up, whether we do it off speed, or dinks, or sharp cuts somewhere. We just have to mix it up and find a hole on the floor. Those things are key."
With the win, Waterford advances to the district semifinal next Thursday where it will either play Portsmouth Clay or Manchester.
At Waterford High
Waterford d. South Gallia 25-12, 25-16, 23-25, 25-18
Waterford (19-4) stats: Hannah Dailey 9asst, 2digs; Brooke Drayer 14pts, 4aces, 1asst, 19kills, 1block, 10digs; Jayde Heiss 8pts, 1asst, 4kills, 8digs; Laura Hill 7pts, 4aces, 3asst, 3kills, 15digs; Taylor Hilverding 2pts, 9kills, 1block, 1dig; Haley McCutcheon 3pts, 1ace, 2kills, 1dig; Alyssa Miller 9pts, 2aces, 37asst, 3kills, 1block, 4digs; Chelsey Paxton 8pts, 2aces, 2asst, 12kills, 15digs; Tori Pyatt 1asst, 2kills, 2digs; Allison Rohrer 1kill; Katie Semon 2digs; Maddy Sury 1kill; Dani Drayer 1pt, 1ace
South Gallia stats: Ellie Bostic 5pts, 2digs, 8kills; Meghan Caldwell 2pts, 1ace, 2digs, 12kills, 6blocks; Brynn Adams 5pts, 1ace, 1dig 3kills; Alicia Hornsby 1dig; Bailie Corbin 5pts 2aces 2digs; Sara Bailey 2pts, 4digs; Shelby Sanders 7pts, 4digs; Courtney Haner 3kills
Next match: (District Semifinal) Waterford vs. Portsmouth Clay/Manchester at Jackson High Thursday (Oct. 25) in "Roll Game" (30 minutes after 6 p.m. game)