MONROEVILLE — Both the Lady Jets and the Lady Starfires once again found a way to make it interesting in the opening match of the ACAC volleyball tournament Tuesday night, but ultimately put away the Bluffton Lady Tigers and Southern Wells Lady Raiders each in two sets in their respective matches.
Heritage hosted the event and would later play the Woodlan Lady Warriors after the AC-Bluffton match-up. In the Jets' contest, AC managed to hold on to the first set with a gritty 25-21 score despite losing at one point 13-18.
That was the turning point of the match for the Lady Jets, as they rallied 12-3 to finish off the game in dramatic fashion. During one point in the middle of the run, sophomore libero Abby Snyder made a fantastic dig on a ball she was nowhere near. The Lady Tigers were so sure that the ball was touching the ground that they began their celebration early when Snyder dug out the save. The Lady Jets would continue the point, hitting it back to Bluffton's side. Despite a quick scramble to get back into the play, the Lady Tigers could not recover, which made the score 18-18.
The Lady Jets would take their first lead of the match in the next point and did not trail the rest of the night.
The second game of the match was a laugher for the Lady Jets. They started the with a 5-0 run, which quickly turned into 15-5, 22-7 and eventually, 25-11 as a final score.
"We had another slow start. We managed to put it together in the end, but we can't continue to have these shaky starts and have success," commented AC coach Jeremi Schortgen.
The coach credited their ease in the second game to a combination of better focus and a lot of Bluffton mistakes.
Leading the way for the Lady Jets was senior Chelsie Eads with seven kills and a dig. Snyder was the defensive savior for AC with 15 digs, an assist, and an impressive seven aces (three of which came during AC's comeback in the first game). Senior Alyssa Keller was a great help outside of the spotlight with another impressive match of assists (20).
"It's easy to overlook, but you can't say enough how important it is to have Alyssa in the front setting the ball for us," praised coach Schortgen.
Other stats for AC: freshman Haley Gross had two kills, a block, three digs, and an assist; junior Bess Fiechter had five kills and three digs; sophomore Abbey Lichtle had six kills, a block, and seven digs; sophomore Liz Luginbill had eight digs and an assist; senior Alexa Baller had four digs; and freshman Whittney Peterson had two kills, two digs, and an assist.
South Adams vs. Southern Wells
In the match-up going on in the other side of the Heritage building, the Starfires managed to win an equally as entertaining game, 25-18, 25-19.
Coach Ashley Buckingham commented after the match, "We really played well. We got the points we needed to get and showed great poise."
Chelsea Bollenbacher led the way for the Lady Starfires with eight kills and a pair of timely blocks. Alyssa Bluhm had five kills and 11 assists,while Lily Taing had seven digs and nine assists for SA.
The ACAC action will resume Thursday at Heritage for both schools and each will have a 6 p.m. start with Adams Central playing in the high school gym and South Adams playing in the junior high gym. AC will play the host school Heritage who won in dramatic fashion over rival Woodlan and South Adams will play the conference favorite Leo Lions.