LEWISBURG — Jackie Barnes felt it was important for her National Trail volleyball team to win its first-ever match in the new Western Ohio Athletic Conference, and after a slow start, the Blazers did just that.
Trail knocked off host Tri-County North in straight sets 25-22, 25-10, 25-9 on Tuesday, Aug. 31.
“Last week was a rough week playing four games in a row, but we came out even in that. So, our goal was this week, we want to be better than that,” Barnes said. “So starting out with a win was really important to us for a lot of reasons.”
Trail fell behind 8-3 in the first set before rallying behind the serving of Abbi Whitesell. The Blazers scored seven unanswered points for a 10-8 lead.
“We started out really slow and Abbi brought us back. She served four or five in a row and that’s what we needed,” Barnes said.
After North took a 17-15 lead, Trail used another big run (6-0) to take control of the set, and that momentum carried over for the rest of the match.
Trail began set two with a 7-0 run and was never threatened. In set three, a 9-1 run at the start set the tone, eventually finishing 25-9.
The Blazers finished with 16 aces on the night.
“We talk about our serving can either win us a lot of games or it can lose a lot of games, and there in that first game we missed the first two or three serves,” Barnes said. We got to play our game and that’s what we talked about, if we played our game of volleyball tonight we were going to be successful. I think, when they can get their serves in, that is definitely a strong point for our team. If we can disrupt the other team no matter who we’re playing, so that they’re out of system, that’s going to be better for us. We’re going to get a free ball coming over, we’re going to get not a hard hit, and then we can capitalize.”
Senior J’Da Jackson led the way with six kills. Sophomore Addison Sparks added five kills and five digs. Senior Jenna Petitt had five aces, 10 digs and five kills.
North coach Katie Hemp felt her team, at times, was their own worst enemy.
”We started out strong. And then all of our girls, we get in our heads. Our biggest competitor competitor as ourselves,” she said. “Today was just not our passing day. It wasn’t horrible, but it was pretty good.”
Sophomore Azia Singleton led the way with three kills.
Trail (3-4, 1-1 WOAC) also dropped a pair of matches last week, falling to Bradford 25-18, 25-21, 24-26, 25-16 on Thursday and to Stivers 25-8, 25-17, 26-24 in Saturday.
North (0-5, 0-2) also lost to Tri-Village 25-6, 25-7, 25-15 on Thursday.
The Blazers are scheduled to host Mississinawa Valley on Thursday, Sept. 9.
North was scheduled to play at Yellow Spring on Tuesday, Sept. 7. They will visit Carlisle on Wednesday and will host Twin Valley South on Thursday.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr