UL notches third victory of season

The Union Local volleyball team picked up its third win of the season with a victory over the visiting Purple Riders of Martins Ferry Tuesday evening in Morristown. The host Lady Jets won in four matches over Martins Ferry 25-23, 25-13, 23-25 and 25-15.

The Purple Riders battled through the first match but never seemed to find their rhythm in the second.

“I definitely see it in their faces that they have the desire and the will to win,” said Purple Riders’ Coach Megan Gesualdo. “It just seems to come and go in spurts, I can’t explain it.”

True to form, Martins Ferry came back in the third match and battled point-for-point. With the two teams knotted at 14 after some long volleys to decide points, Union Local gained an upper hand and extended to a 20-14 lead. Facing elimination in a three game sweep the Riders rallied back to win a 25-23 victory.

The Jets were not rattled by the set back and came out strong in the fourth rolling up an early advantage and despite some long volleys with the Purple Riders winning by a 10-point margin.

“That is something we have to work on,” said Union Local’s head coach Christa Truchan. “We will be ahead and we just can’t seem to finish play with long rallies.

“They (Martins Ferry) changed it up on us and played a different style which took us out of our offense,” Truchan continued. “We were playing with some new members on varsity tonight and I thought we adjusted well.”

Moving up to varsity was Gabby Smolenak who contributed 5 digs for the Jets. Shayla Otto notched 6 kills, 6 blocks with 8 digs to lead Union Local.

Lindsay Schafer had 12 assists and 4 kills, Jenna Britton had 5 kills, and Carly Schafer added 8 assists for the Lady Jets as they improve to 3-6.

Purple Riders’ senior Taylor Campbell had 4 kills, ten assists, 3 aces and 3 digs. Christina Boyd led Martins Ferry at the net with 5 kills and 4 blocks, Shaina Oberdick added 3 kills and 3 blocks with an ace, while Stephanie Perdok tallied a kill, a block an assist and 3 aces.

The Purple Riders travel to Brooke tonight while Union Local will host a tri with Tyler and Wheeling Park on Thursday.

Palmer can be reached at mpalmer@timesleader-online.com