OVAC VOLLEYBALL: Bears Match Mark
STEUBENVILLE – Oak Glen got the Meadowbrook monkey off of its back.
Thetop-seeded Oak Glen volleyball team showed why it was the top seed in the OVAC Class 4A Tournament on Saturday as it shook off a shaky first set to rally and to defeat the third-seeded Colts, 15-25, 25-9, 25-11, in the inside the Crimson Center.
“It’s wonderful,” Oak Glen (24-3-2) coach Ethel Riser said. “We played Meadowbrook, and this is the third time in the last three years we have played them. This is the first time we have won. It is really special.”
The Golden Bears have won seven tournament titles, moving into a seventh-place tie with Skyvue for the most in history. Buckeye Trail leads the way with 13 tournament titles.
The Golden Bears also won the Class 4A regular season title this season.
Individually for Oak Glen in the final, Morgan Poling produced 10 points, 11 kills and six digs, Vanessa Hissam scored nine points to go along with nine kills and five digs and Jessica Stivason ended up with nine points, 10 kills, three aces and five blocks.
Individually for Meadowbrook (14-8), Morgan Modro recorded 10 kills, Baylee Graham tallied six points and three aces and Sydnie DeLong ended up with four digs.
“They just had different kids,” Riser said when asked if Meadowbrook did anything differently than it has in the prior matchups the last couple of years. “It is the mental game. They beat us the last two years. It got into their heads that they could beat us again, but then we started playing our game.
“I just had to remind them about what we have done and who we are. We are the No. 1 team and not the No. 3 team. They decided to play ball.”
Oak Glen advanced to the finals by defeating No. 4 seed East Liverpool, 25-23, 25-9 in the third meeting between the teams this season.
Meadowbrook advanced to the final by defeating No. 2 seed Big Red, 17-25, 25-23, 25-19, inside the Joseph Stern Gymnasium.
For Big Red, Taylor Young tallied eight points, eight kills, nine assists, two aces and five digs, Abby Taylor collected five kills, 10 assists and seven digs and Brittany Bodo delivered three kills, three assists and eight digs.
Also, Annie Nehrbas scored eight points to go along with six kills and six blocks, Carmie Biasi contributed seven points and nine digs and Mytia Barker recorded three points and nine digs.
“We played our best game because the girls were excited, and they didn’t back down,” Big Red (13-9) coach Lynn Meyer said. “We made mental mistakes, but I am very pleased with how we are playing headed into sectionals. We did the little things. Meadowbrook is a great team.”
After the loss to the Colts, Big Red bounced back and defeated the Potters, 25-16, 25-22, in the consolation final.