NEW PARIS – The Arcanum volleyball team earned a win over National Trail Thursday, but the Lady Trojans had to work harder than they should have as it took four sets for the win.
After rolling over Tri-County North in three sets earlier in the week, Arcanum seemed poised to sweep Trail, who entered the match with just four wins. But the Trojans seemed to play to the level of the competition away at Trail.
Maybe the team was looking forward to Saturday’s rematch against rival Franklin Monroe, who beat Arcanum earlier in the season in the finals of the kickoff tournament.
Early in the first set, Arcanum seemed poised to run away with it. Arcanum broke a 4-4 tie and went on an 8-2 run to grab the lead.
But Trojan miscues allowed Trail to come back with a run of its own and make it a one-point game with Arcanum up 12-11. Both teams took timeouts at this point to rally their players and try to break the game open. But the game knotted again at 15-all.
Despite a Trail timeout to slow down Arcanum, the Trojans finished the set with nice 10-3 run and won the set 25-18.
In the second set, Arcanum seemed to figure that Trail would just roll over. The Trojans started with some sloppy play that let Trail pull ahead. Now the set became a rubber band match in which Trail would pull ahead and Arcanum would make a little run and almost catch up before Trail pulled ahead again. But the Trojans were gamers and finally tied the match at 22-all. They needed a big play or two at the end to finish but couldn’t seal the deal and lost that set 25-23.
Now it was tied one set apiece, and the Trojans were playing on a hostile court. The two teams sparred a bit in the next set and went to a 5-all tie. But Arcanum began to get some nice set ups from the back court and gradually pulled ahead.
About midway through the match the Trojans went on a 9-3 run and opened up a nice lead, gradually growing it for a 25-16 lead. But to their credit, Trail was scrappy in this match and throughout the contest – the Blazers did not give up.
The last set saw a determined Arcanum team take control of the match. The Trojans set up the ball nicely and finished with some killer spikes. Trail was having a hard time keeping the ball off the floor, which it had done so well to this point. Arcanum had a strong run and closed out the set and the match with a 25-16 score.
Arcanum coach Terri Day was not happy afterwards.
“I think they played real slack,” she said. “We were expecting Trail to keep the ball off the floor, which they did all night long. When you are playing away, you can’t take anything for granted. You have to come in with your A game from the start and we didn’t. Trail took advantage of it – as well they should. You can’t have everyone off on the same night. Everyone has a bad night every once in a while, but tonight I thought that as a team we didn’t play as well as we should.”
She reflected back on the North match.
“We played well against North at home,” Day said. “We beat them in three straight sets and played good fundamentals – we didn’t do that tonight. We didn’t pass the ball, didn’t cover our hitters. We were a different team from Tuesday to Thursday.”
Arcanum has a tough stretch ahead. The Trojans play Franklin Monroe at home Saturday, which will be all the volleyball that you can eat – with junior high matches starting at 9 a.m. and culminating with the varsity at about noon. This is a “Volley for the Cure” with raffles, sale items and prizes for folks attending this event.
Then next week the Trojans take on Dixie from the Southwestern Buckeye League and then play Cross County Conference teams Covington and Miami East. So how the team plays in the next 10 days will determine if the Trojans have a shot at the league championship or not.
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