STEUBENVILLE - For the past three seasons Shenandoah has advanced to the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference volleyball tournament only to leave with disappointment and frustration.
That all changed Saturday morning as Coach Shannon Leasure's Zeps rolled past defending Class 3A champion Tyler in the semifinals before holding off Guernsey County rival Buckeye Trail in the championship match inside the Crismon Center at Steubenville High.
Shenandoah actually watched Trail win the first set of the title game, 25-20, before taking the second by a 25-21 margin and rallying late to win the third, 26-24, and hoist the trophy after a classic three-set victory over the youthful Warriors.
The top-seeded Zeps advanced to the championship match by breezing past the Silver Knights, 25-18, 25-14 while Buckeye Trail (17-5) was busy holding off Magnolia, 24-26, 25-22, 25-23. Tyler Consolidated (22-5) dominated the Blue Eagles (15-5), 25-15, 25-12 in the consolation match.
Beating a team three times in a season is not an easy thing to do, shutting them out three times is even harder, something Shenandoah (18-3) quickly found out in its match against the Warriors. The two squads had already met twice before Saturday with the Zeps picking up three-set wins in each against a Trail team that features only one senior and four quality freshmen.
The Zeps led most of the way in the finale, even going up by six points, 19-13, at one juncture only to watch Buckeye Trail battled back and take a 21-20 lead. The Warriors eventually pushed the count to 24-22 and was on the brink of bringing home the title before Shenandoah zipped off the final four markers for the victory.
Oak Glen captured the title by toppling defending champion Meadowbrook in three games. The Lady Colts captured the opener, 25-15, but Oak Glen rallied to post 25-9 and 25-11 verdicts to prevail.
The Lady Golden Bears were led by Carissa Williams' eight points and 16 assists. Morgan Poling had 10 points, 11 kills and six digs. Vanessa Hissam had nine points and nine kills.
Morgan Modro led Meadowbrook with 10 kills. Sydney Black had nine kills and four digs.
Steubenville upended East Liverpool, 25-16, 25-12 to win the consolation match.
Oak Glen defeated East Liverpool in the semifinals, 25-23 and 25-9, while Meadowbrook upended Steubenville, 17-25, 25-23 and 25-19.
Indian Creek notched yet another OVAC title as it spiked Edison in three games by scores of 25-22, 23-25 and 25-17.
The Lady Redskins were led by Bre Berryman's 15 kills, 10 blocks and two digs. Kiarra Kamarec added six blocks, four points and two kills. Jessica Furda donated 25 assists. Bethany Davis had seven points and seven kills. She also had 13 digs.
Edison was paced by Cassidy Jarivs' 17 kills. Caitlin Brenstuhl had 20 assists, five points and three kills. Katelyn Pollock had nine points, eight assists and six aces. Kalee Neal added 11 points.
Parkersburg South finished third by defeating Morgantown in the consolation match, 25-23, 27-25.
Edison defeated Morgantown in one semifinal, 25-19, 25-16. Indian Creek got by South, 25-13 and 25-15.