MORRISTOWN The No. 5 in Roman numerals is V, and for Union Local that stands for victory. The Jets evened their season record to 5-5 with a 5-set match over visiting Martins Ferry by scores of 25-15, 22-25, 20-25, 25-13 and 15-10.
Union Local head coach Sarah Gibeaut's Jets had won a 5-set marathon Monday night over Barnesville, and once again took it to the limit against the Purple Riders Tuesday night inside 'The Hangar.'
"It was a hard-earned win yesterday (Monday)," said Gibeaut. "It took a lot out of us, both physically and emotionally, and we came out slow and did not make it easy on ourselves.
Union Local’s Sarah Sheppard (23) soars up to meet the attack of Martins Ferry’s Shaina Oberdick. Teammate Mikayla Patton (17) watches Sheppard, who led the Jets with 18 kills as they came back from a 2-1 deficit to win their second 5-set match in two days. Additional images can be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
"Ferry really took us out of our game with their off-speed play," Gibeaut added. "We let them back in and got behind but we kept it together and came out with the win."
After the host Jets breezed through the opening set, winning a double-digit tilt, the Purple Riders found some momentum.
"I am proud of our girls and they way they keep fighting for every point, no matter what the score ... right until the final whistle," said Martins Ferry head coach Chuck Probst. "Sooner or later, you have to believe they are going to turn this thing around and learn how to finish."
The resilient Riders did finish the next two sets pulling away from Union Local late in the contests and suddenly the Jets found themselves on the opposite end of the momentum pendulum.
In the fourth set it would be a resurgent Jets offense that found their rhythm at the net and used the kill to force the fifth and final set.
Union Local jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but Martins Ferry battled back twice to a single digit margin, 8-7 and 11-10. The host Jets rolled off the next four points to again win a marathon match.
Sarah Sheppard would take the lead at the net for the Jets with 18 kills, 12 digs and seven points. Carly Schafer found her way into every scoring column with eight kills, two blocks, 21 assists, 17 digs and 10 points. Megan Nagy had four kills, 26 digs and 16 points with two aces. Kaylie Cole notched five spikes, dug up 22 and served four points, with two aces. Shayla Otto added three kills, three blocks, 14 digs and 12 points. Anna Jo Nardo helped out with 14 assist and 6 digs. Mikayla Patton notched seven kills, two blocks, six digs and 11 points.
The Purple Riders notched just 21 kills as a team. Shaina Oberdick was responsible for 10 of that total, adding 10 points. Tyrah King added six kills. Dakota West dug up 16. Cassie Hanson and Shaye DeLeonardis both notched nine assists, with Hanson serving up eight points with three aces. DeLeonardis chipped in 12 points and three aces.
The Jets will take a road trip to Tyler Consolidated tonight.
The Purple Riders fall to 3-7 and host Harrison Central Thursday.
Palmer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org