UL Ousts Barnesville

Jets open postseason strong

Photo by Rick Thorp Union Local’s Reagan Vinskovich (23) defends during Tuesday night’s Ohio Division III sectional volleyball semifinal. The Jets won in straight sets.

MORRISTOWN — Union Local volleyball coach Kaye Sechrest wasn’t overwhelmed by her team’s pep Monday night as the Jets closed out regular-season play with a victory against John Marshall.

The exuberance her squad showed Tuesday night, however, was more to her liking.

Torre Kildow had 10 digs, eight assists and eight kills as Union Local showed why it was seeded second in the East District this postseason — sweeping Barnesville 25-12, 25-14, 25-17 in an Ohio Division III sectional opener on its home court.

(Tuesday), there was energy,” said Sechrest after the Jets improved to 22-1. “Now, we’re going to move forward to Thursday.”

Then, at 6 p.m. back inside “The Hangar,” UL will welcome back Buckeye Trail. The Warriors, who escaped Tusky Valley in five thrilling sets in the first half of the night’s double dip, handed the Jets their only loss of the season in last week’s OVAC 3A semifinals.

So, the way Sechrest figures it, if her team can’t muster up the energy for the sectional final, they have no pulse.

“Oh, I think we’ll be ready,” she said. “But, they’re going to be up, too. They’re coming off an OVAC title and a thrilling five-set victory against Tusky Valley.”

That’s true. But the Jets didn’t exactly waltz past the Shamrocks. Barnesville, although it fell to UL for the third time this season, gave the Jets their tough test of the trio of meetings, something that pleased Kimberly Jarrett, who finished her first season as the team’s head coach at 5-17.

“They played a tough match, but so did we,” she said. “I’m going to miss this group. It’s been a good year.”

Union Local came out on fire, surging to a 14-2 lead in the opening set and were never threatened.

“They’re a tough team,” Jarrett said. “They are very experienced and have had a great year.

“We got ourselves in a hole. But, as the night went along, we played harder and never quit, just like we have all season.”

The Shamrocks trailed only by three — 13-10– in the second. But the Jets reeled off six straight points to take command. Then, in the final set, it was a 5-0 run that turned what a tight battle into one that the Jets had some breathing room.

Although it was another sweep for her team, Sechrest pointed to some things she knows will have to improve in order to stay with the Warriors.

“Blocking, we’re really going to have to focus on that,” she said. “And, getting up to the net and getting ready.”

Lacy Bilyeu added 11 digs for Union Local. Casey Kildow had seven kills and seven assists, Reagan Vinskovich had seven digs, and Baylee Rex had six digs.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Sechrest said of Thursday night’s clash. “I’m looking forward to another battle.”

Rylee Stephens had 10 kills and six blocks for the Shamrocks. Keirsten Adams scored six points, while Kaitlyn Roe recorded 10 digs.

“From the time we started in the summer until now I think every girl in our program has improved,” Jarrett said. “I;m looking forward to getting back to work.”


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