ST. CLAIRSVILLE - With the OVAC Tournament on the horizon, St. Clairsville volleyball coach Christa Truchan knows every victory at this point in the season is extremely crucial. Especially when you're on the outside looking in as far as the tournament is concerned.
Only the top four in each class qualify for the championships, set for Saturday, Oct. 12 at Steubenville High School.
So, when the Red Devils trailed Harrison Central 8-7 in the first set of their Class 3A and Buckeye 8 tilt on John Jenkins Court on Tuesday night, Truchan called time to remind her team of the stakes.
St. Clairsville’s Brigee Mick (3) sends a shot past Harrison Central’s DJ Keesey (8) during Tuesday night’s match on St. C.’s John Jenkins Court. The Red Devils prevailed in three sets.
''I told them we needed to play our style of game,'' she said. ''We're working hard on some things. And we needed to work on those things no matter what's going on on the other side of the court ... no matter what their style of play is.
''We need to focus on our game.''
St. Clairsville heeded it's coaches words, winning the set 25-17 and taking the next two sets 25-20 and 25-15 to win the match and improve to 10-5 on the season.
''We need to take every match match by match,'' Truchan said. ''We had a tough week last week and then we came back Saturday and beat two 5A schools (Wheeling Park and Cambridge).
''We knew we couldn't take Harrison lightly. (Today) is a big match for us with Martins Ferry being in third and us being fifth.
''We need to clean up what we did (Tuesday). We had some errors and we needed to get better.''
The Huskies stayed stuck on one victory against 14 defeats.
''We still have some issues going on with girls in different spots where they shouldn't be playing because I really don't have anyone else because of injuries,'' Harrison Central coach Sarah Wilden said.
''We've been dealing with it all season. And another things is we're still trying to find a leader.''
Following the timeout, the Huskies never led again in the first set.
The Huskies stayed close early in the second and third sets. But in both, St. Clairsville was able to pull ahead thanks to a surge of powerful shots the Huskies simply had no answer for. And if it wasn't St. C. shots stymieing the Huskies, it was self-induced miscues.
''We've been girls in different spots all season,'' Wilden said.
Katie Stackhouse paced Harrison Central with 11 points, seven kills and four aces, while Jesse Ledger had 11 digs.
Brigee Mick, Kipra Rhodes and Alexis St. Clair all scored points for the Red Devils. Mick added five aces, seven digs and six kills, Rhodes had five aces and St. Clair tacked on four aces, four dogs and six kills. Gabbie Espen dished out 27 assists.
The Red Devils also won the jayvee match 25-23, 25-12
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