Red Devils ground Jets

MORRISTOWN — When the rubber hit the road Thursday night, it was St. Clairsville that was able to dig deep and find what it took to prevail.

The Red Devils surged late in all three games against Union Local, sweeping the Jets, 25-23, 25-17, 25-18 in a battle between traditional Buckeye 8 South volleyball powers inside ‘The Hangar.’

St. Clairsville rallied from an 11-3 deficit in Game 1 and used that momentum to snap a two-match losing skid.

”We had a tough loss on Tuesday (against Steubenville) and definitely needed to bounce back,” St. Clairsville head coach Christa Truchan said. ”The slow start is something we’ve been working on a lot.

”Union Local and Coach (Kaye) Sechrest gave us a run. The girls maybe underestimated just how fast we needed to start. That’s one of the things we need to work on.”

The Jets (3-3) were coming off a thrilling victory against Barnesville on Wednesday night, one in which the Shamrocks were handed their first loss of the season.

”I think my girls were a little tired,” Sechrest, in her first season at Union Local, said. ”It was an emotional one for them.

”But St. Clairsville played well. They got the balls that I thought were going to be down and that my girls thought were down. They played great. It was close, but that’s how the balls fall.”

All three games were tied late — 17-17 in Game 1, 15-15 in Game 2 and 16-16 in Game 3.

But the Red Devils found the recipe for success in the late going to emerge victorious.

”We had a good practice Wednesday and we improved,” Truchan said. ”That’s all I can ask, that we improve to our potential.”

Game 1 featured six ties, the final coming at 23-23 before the Red Devils won the final two points.

St. Clairsville jumped out to what looked like a comfortable 8-3 lead in Game 2 before the Jets rallied.

Erin Edwards, who finished with nine kills, scored to bring the Jets to within 10-8. And, later, Laryssa Brandon made a nice block at the net that resulted in a point and tied the game at 15-15.

But the Red Devils went on a 6-0 run en route to going up 2-0 in the match.

In Game 3, Union Local went up 11-8 on another Brandon block (she finished with four) and score. St.C., however, started to rally behind an Emily Cramer spike that trimmed UL’s advantage to 12-10.

The two teams battled from there, tying three times, before the Red Devils took the lead for good at 17-16 on a Sydney Porter ace.

Madison Vickers finished with 17 digs for St. Clairsville, while Ari Reager had 24 assists and five kills. Cramer finished with nine kills, Paige Sefsick had 11 kills and seven digs, and Kari Klinkoski had six kills.

Casey Kildow and Emma Knox added nine and seven assists, respectively, for Union Local.

”They are just a team that will really respond to what we’re asking them to do,” Truchan said of her squad. ”They’re a close group and they’re working hard and have the same goals as (the coaches).

”I can’t really ask much more.”