By GARY R. RASBERRY
ST. MARYS — Local teams placed high on Saturday at
the Rider volleyball invitational held at both Cook and McBroom
Unfortuntaly, neither Fort Recovery, Parkway nor the host Roughriders
could come away with the big trophy as Old Fort, which finished
fifth in last year’s coaches poll, pulled away from St.
Marys 15-12 and 15-9 in the championship game.
The Stockcaders (3-0) opened their season on Saturday and did
not show any rust, only going to three games once on the day,
that coming in the opener with Fort Recovery.
“We didn’t have any warmup before this (tournament),”
said Old Fort coach Nancy Hoover. “We lost a lot of players
from last season. Beating Fort Recovery, a good quality team,
gave us confidence to start the season.”
The confidence continued to build as Old Fort won its second
pool game 15-7, 15-4 over Ridgedale, which went 0-3 on the tournament
for sixth place, before earning the championship berth as the
only unbeaten team in pool play.
St. Marys made it into the finals by going 1-1 and earning the
tiebreaker over Parkway, Fort Recovery and Wauseon with the
least amount of games played against Wauseon. St. Marys lost
its opener to Parkway 13-15, 15-9 and 16-14 in a contest of
rallies and comebacks. The Panthers got the final comeback,
staving off match point on a long run of sideouts before tying
the game at 14-all and then rallying to get the final two points.
St. Marys rebounded to defeat Wauseon 15-4 and 15-7 in the final
opening round match to earn that second spot in the finals.
Krissy Haines had 13 kills to lead the Roughriders in the match
and had 33 total kills on the day.
In the championship match, St. Marys (3-3) jumped out to leads
in both games, with the Riders holding an 8-1 lead in the second
game, before the Stockcaders rallied for the win in both contests.
“It’s about mental toughness,” said St. Marys
coach Monica Vanderhorst. “We get ahead in the first game
6-1 and in the second game 8-1, then we start tipping. We start
playing not to lose instead of playing to win. If you don’t
put teams away and stay aggressive at the net, you don’t
Fort Recovery (4-1) stayed aggressive to take the third-place
honors. After the opening 15-6, 12-15 and 13-15 loss to Old
Fort in the opening round. The Indians responded, roughing up
Ridgedale 15-2 and 15-7 to get the chance to play for third.
At least it was a familar opponent for the Indians as Parkway
also moved into the third-place match. The teams met on Thursday
in conference matches with the Indians needing three games to
escape Rockford with the win.
Things were a little different on Saturday as Fort Recovery
tallied seven aces in the match to take home a 15-1, 15-2 win.
The Indians allowed the Panthers (2-3) to score their points
first before taking over. Senior utility specialist Oliva Post
was big for the Indians scoring 12 service points and three
aces in the match.
“My girls were determined to prove something to me today,”
said Fort Recovery coach Jackie Kaup. “After that Old
Fort loss, which they played hard but just didn’t finish
the game, they were in the locker room and told me they were
going to change everything and make it a better day.”
The Panthers looked to make the charge to the championship match
after the big win over the Roughriders. Parkway opened its second
match, against Wauseon, with a 15-12 win to keep the momentum.
Wauseon, however staged the comeback and took the second game
15-10 before putting the match away with a 15-7 third game.
“St. Marys is a tough team, but we got that win and I
was really happy with how we played,” said Parkway coach
Todd Henkle. “We came out against Wauseon and we were
up, then we went flat. You start playing poorly like we did
and the other team will get the momentum.
“Coming into the Fort Recovery match, we were doing some
poor things, so we tried a little different rotation and put
some different girls in to try and get the job done. It just
comes down to our upperclassmen need to get the job done.”
St. Marys returns to action tonight when New Bremen comes to
Cook Gymnasium. Fort Recovery hosts Minster on Thursday while
Parkway travels to Delphos to face St. John’s.