WATERFORD - Waterford's five seniors all played integral roles in the team's 3-0 victory over Belpre on "Senior Night" Monday at Waterford Elementary School.
Laura Hill and Haley McCutcheon each led the team with eight kills, Alyssa Miller had 10 points and 24 assists, Jessie Reynolds had five kills and Katie Semon had three digs.
In all, it was a fitting way for the seniors to perform in the final home game of their high school volleyball careers.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Waterford’s Laura Hill (15) spikes the ball while Belpre’s Katelyn Hughes (14) tries to block it during a prep volleyball match at Waterford Elementary School Monday.
"We have a pretty good group of seniors," said Waterford volleyball coach Jandy Drayer. "I've got to hand it to them. They're really good together."
Sophomore Dani Drayer (27 points, 12 aces 13 digs) and junior Taylor Hilverding (10 points, 7 aces, 5 kills) also had big games for the Wildcats, who clinched at least a share of the Tri-Valley Conference - Hocking Division title with the win.
However, just a share of the crown may not be enough for the green and white.
Waterford d. Belpre 25-17, 25-4, 25-13
Waterford (18-2, 15-0) stats: Dani Drayer 27pts, 12aces, 1asst, 2blocks, 13digs; Laura Hill 3pts, 1ace, 1asst, 8kills, 1block, 2digs; Taylor Hilverding 10pts, 7aces, 5kills, 2blocks, 3digs; Haley McCutcheon 8kills, 2blocks; Alyssa Miller 10pts, 1ace, 24asst, 1kill, 1dig; Jessie Reynolds 1ace, 5kills, 1block, 1dig; Katie Semon 3digs; Maddy Sury 1pt, 1ace, 1kill, 1block
JV: Waterford d. Belpre 25-14, 25-18
JV stats: Waterford (15-2, 13-2): Madison Ohse 3pts, 1ace; Melanie Radabaugh 2pts, 2kills; Mariah Starkey 7pts, 3aces, 15asst, 1kill; Jillian McCutcheon 4pts, 1kill; Tess Teters 1asst, 5kills; Samantha Armstrong 1pt, 1kill; Regan Porter 6pts, 3aces, 5kills, 2blocks; Gabbi Tornes 7pts, 4aces, 3kills, 2blocks
Next match: Waterford at Fort Frye at 5:30 p.m. today
"We don't want to share," said Coach Drayer.
In order for Waterford to claim the conference championship outright, it will have to defeat Eastern on the road Thursday.
As for Monday's match against the Golden Eagles, the Wildcats came out just a tad bit rusty, which may have been due to not practicing since last Thursday due to homecoming as well as some lineup changes for "Senior Night." It didn't take long to shake that rust off, though.
Belpre jumped out to leads of 3-0 and 5-4 and kept it as close as 14-10 before Waterford began to pull away. Back-to-back blocks by Reynolds and Drayer made it 16-10 before Drayer recorded consecutive aces to put the Wildcats on top 19-11. Kills by Hill and Reynolds stretched the lead to 24-16 before McCutcheon notched a kill to end the first set at 25-17.
The second set was all Waterford, as Belpre had a hard time returning serves. Drayer and Hilverding combined for eight service aces in the set to lead Waterford to a dominating 25-4 win.
"We finally got on a roll," Coach Drayer said. "I felt like we served pretty well tonight. I hope we can serve the rest of the week that well. Our passing got better in the second and third game so we were able to control things a little bit better."
It was more of the same in the third set, although Belpre kept it a little closer at 24-13 before a block by Reynolds capped it off.
The win upped Waterford's record to 18-2 overall and a perfect 15-0 in the league.
Waterford takes on rival Fort Frye in Beverly today in a non-league game before capping the regular season at Eastern Thursday.