ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Heading into this volleyball season, St. Clairsville head coach Christa Truchan boasted about the depth her squad possessed.
It was on full display on John Jenkins Court on Wednesday evening.
Plenty of spikers wearing Scarlet and Gray played roles in the Red Devils' 25-20, 25-23, 25-16 triumph against debuting Bridgeport. And, as Truchan looked at the final stats on her iPad, all she could do was smile.
T-L Photo/RICK THORP
BRIDGEPORT’S Briana Massey (20) goes up for the ball at the net Wednesday night along with St. Clairsville’s Courtney Storer (2). The Red Devils prevailed in three games.
''This is the first time in a while we've had a lot of depth on our bench, so it's a game-time decision on what six players are going to be working on the court,'' she said. ''I've been putting people in different roles and they've stepped up.''
The Bulldogs, too, are adjusting. Having replaced six seniors from a team that reached the OVAC Class 2A final a season ago, veteran head coach Ron Kelly has been guiding a squad that continues to mature.
''We were looking for unity on the floor (Wednesday night),'' he said. ''We were good sometimes, sometimes not.''
''Hopefully, as the season goes along, we'll see improvement. They all talk about it, but doing it is something else. Now, they did play well at times.''
Unfortunately for Bridgeport, those times were after the Red Devils had taken control. St. Clairsville jumped out to big leads in all three games, leaving the Bulldogs in come-from-behind mode all evening.
''We were really working on attacking instead of being on the defensive,'' Truchan said. ''Tuesday, we were on the defensive, (Wednesday), they were on the defensive.''
Truchan was referring to St. C.'s season-opening four-game loss to Meadowbrook in which it was held to 12 points in two of the three games it lost.
''The girls are still learning about each other, but they're stepping up and accepting the challenge,'' she said.
Truchan does have two solid leaders who both earned postseason honors last fall in seniors Alexis St. Clair and Rebekah Sadlowski. Both stepped up to the plate Wednesday.
St. Clair had four digs, while Sadlowski recorded eight aces, seven kills and two digs.
Abby Miller added nine kills; Courtney Storer had six assists, six digs and three kills; Kaley Garloch recorded 15 assists and four aces; Madison Vickers collected six kills; and Megan Teater had five kills.
St. Clairsville jumped out to leads of 5-1, 7-0 and 4-1, respectively, in the three games.
The Red Devils never trailed, sans for a period in the second game where the Bulldogs rallied to grab a 23-22 advantage.
Dakota Dobrynski had six points and six digs for the Bulldogs. Kamden Dulesky scored nine points, with five digs; Mikaya Green had four points and six assists; Shelby Matheny had nine digs; and Briana Massey churned out 18 digs.
Buckeye Trail d. Cambridge
25-12, 25-11, 25-9
CAMBRIDGE - Jennifer Burga recorded 15 points and 26 assists as Buckeye Trail opened its season with a sweep of Cambridge.
Karlye Hensley added 11 points and six kills for the Warriors, while Alexis Wheeler had nine points; Josie Hensley had eight points and 10 kills; and Lexe Starr had five points and six kills.
The Bobcats dropped to 0-3.
Thorp can be reached at email@example.com