Barnesville swept by Crestview in 3A

BARNESVILLE — The old saying in sports goes, ‘It’s not how you start, but how you finish.’

For the Crestview volleyball team, it was in an early hole in the first set of a Class 3A OVAC semifinal match against Barnesville. The Rebels, though were able to overcome that deficit and secure a victory. The momentum was in their favor for the rest of the way as the Rebels swept the Shamrocks, 25-20, 25-23, 25-17, on Tuesday night at Barnesville High School.

Crestview will face Fort Frye, which defeated Magnolia for the Class 3A title, at Union Local High School on Saturday.

For Shamrocks’ Nikki McEndree, she saw miscues from her team that she has seen all year that led to the defeat.

“I thought we started off well, but it’s what we’ve done all year,” McEndree said. “We get those leads and then we have these unforced errors and let them build up on us. In Game 1, I thought we should have won. We go into Game 2, get down eight, come back and lose by two. But I told them, we can’t get into that hole. Game 3, I thought we played with them right until the end.”

Barnesville raced out to an 11-5 lead before Crestview called a timeout. The small break seemed to work for the Rebels as they were able to eventually tie the score at 14-14. On the next point, they took the lead for the first time on the evening.

The Shamrocks put together a small run scoring the next four points to garner some breathing room. However, the Rebels put together a rally scoring four consecutive points of their own.

With a 20-20 deadlock, the Rebels scored the final five points to take Set 1.

“We were very slow (Tuesday),” Crestview coach Alisha Auer said. “The two hours on the bus took us out of our game defensively, so it took us a while to get adjusted. I’m happy we won, but I feel like we need to play better defense to continue to win.”

The momentum gained at the end of the first set was still with the Rebels for the second as they raced out to a 14-5 lead.

However, the Shamrocks put together a small rally near the end. With the score at 23-16, Barnesville scored seven of the next eight points to make it a one-point game, 24-23.

Crestview, though was able to score the next point to take the set and take a 2-0 advantage.

“They started off flat. I think they gave all they had in that first game and they came out flat in the second. But they pulled it back together,” McEndree said.

At the beginning of the third set, the crowd saw a back and forth battle as the score read 13-13.

However, Crestview wanted to put the game away as soon as it could. It scored 12 of the next 16 points to secure a sweep.

“We have a very strong unit,” Auer said. “We have 15 kids on my roster and its 15 strong kids. If one kid is not playing their best game, everyone else can step up. I think that helps us in tight games when we’re maybe not at our best.”

Tess Neville had 11 kills, five blocks for Crestview while Brenna Auer had eight points, five digs and 12 points. Emily Emch tallied six kills, four blocks, three aces and 10 points while Haley Eskra totaled 16 assists and five digs.

This is also the second consecutive year that Crestview has made it to the OVAC championship game. Last year, the Rebels lost to Buckeye Trail .

“It’s exciting,” Alisha Auer said. “It’s different for us. We’re not familiar with a lot of these teams. This is the first time I’ve been to this school. So it’s exciting we were able to get back and hopefully we are able to come out with a victory this year.”

For Barnesville, Mya McEndree had six points, 15 assists and 10 digs while Mindi Wehr had three points, 13 kills and six digs. Madison Detling secured eight kills, Rylee Stephens had six kills and three digs while Erin Hannahs had 17 digs.

Kalie Grear totaled seven points and six digs; Savanna Finnical totaled three points, 13 assists and nine digs while Lindsay Burkhart had four points and nine digs.

“I told them that it was a good experience to play that team. I thought they had some very strong hitters,” Nikki McEndree said. “We haven’t seen hitters that strong all year. That’s good for us to be able to see that because we’re probably going to see that in the tournament. So we’ll take that and we have some things to work on, for sure for next week.”