When Martins Ferry and Buckeye Local get on opposite sides of a volleyball net, fans can be certain it will be a battle.
The tradition held true Thursday evening as the Purple Riders and Panthers took the full five games to decide a winner with Buckeye Local prevailing in Tolbert Gymnasium 15-8 in the final set.
Martins Ferry took the opening set 25-16 but Buckeye Local bounced back to hold off a late charge by the Riders evening the count, 25-23. The Purple came back in the third to go back in front 25-22 but the Panthers rallied in the fourth set to win a 25-12 decision and take that momentum into the fifth and final set.
Buckeye Local’s Kayla Fillipovich spikes the ball over the net where Martins Ferry’s Shaina Oberdick defends. Additional images can be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
"We are coming off of a rough week last week and looking at the OVAC 4A standings, we were sitting in fifth place behind Ferry," said Buckeye Local head coach Shelby Luther. "We really wanted this win and I was very proud of our effort tonight. We kept pressing when it counted.
"These girls have worked hard to improve. They are playing well together and working towards our goal," Luther added. "We have our sights set on being in the OVAC championships this fall."
Martins Ferry head coach Chuck Probst is looking for answers, after being swept Wednesday by Monroe Central the loss to Buckeye Local dropped his team record to 2-3.
"We played well last week and we played well at times tonight, but obviously, we still have some work to do and I just do not know what the solution is to get some consistency on the floor."
Tyrah King had 10 kills to lead the Purple Riders. Shaina Oberdick added nine kills and three digs, serving up seven points with two aces.
Shaye DeLeonardis set 14 assists, dug up nine with two spikes, while Cassie Hanson added nine assists, nine digs with two kills. Morgan Carpenter served up 10 points with two aces, three digs and one kill. Jessie Probst contributed eight points with six aces, four kills and three digs.
Dakota West dug up a dozen for Martins Ferry.
Becca Rector led Buckeye Local with 13 kills, 12 assists and two service aces. Kayla Fillipovich sent 11 spikes back across the net. Amy Balk and Kierstyn Czuchran both added six kills. Lexus Fedorko set 15 assists, while Kaylee DeCesare notched eight digs for the Panthers, now 4-3.
"We had some service errors and some return errors tonight that we have to fix if we are going to play well next week with Edison and Indian Creek on the schedule," added Luther.
"We get back to work tomorrow and get ready for John Marshall Saturday," Probst concluded.
Palmer can be reached at email@example.com