Arcanum volleyball overcomes slow start in win over Ansonia


By Drew Terhall

ARCANUM — The Lady Trojans defended home court as they defeated Ansonia, 3-1, on Aug. 31.

It wasn’t smooth sailing for Arcanum as they lost the first set, 25-8. After the set, head coach Jacie Holman took the team into the locker room to coach the team up between sets.

“My girls know when they go to the locker room, it’s probably not the best thing for them. That’s what they needed. They needed to hear that was not our game and we’re going to pick it up. I’m proud of them. They came out and showed what Arcanum volleyball was,” Holman said.

In the first set, everything was clicking for Ansonia. The hitters were finding the open spots on the court and the serving started to give Arcanum fits on defense. Holman said she knew Ansonia was going to be challenging after seeing them in the Greenville Federal Invitational on Aug. 26.

It was near perfect execution from Ansonia in the first set. With everything going Ansonia’s way, they were able to dominate in the first set.

After the locker room visit, it was all Arcanum. The team looked more dialed in and started to play up to their level.

Ansonia head coach Lydia Schlarman said after that second set, Arcanum came out with a different energy. Her team just couldn’t match that level after the first set.

“They got comfortable in the second set and that showed. Our energy was definitely down that second set. I told the girls if you want to win, you have to come out with energy,” Schlarman said. “Their (Arcanum’s) energy outplayed us ultimately.”

Arcanum jumped out to an early 13-5 lead before Ansonia called a time out. Holman said in the second set, the team played Arcanum volleyball. They moved the ball quickly, got runs from their servers and got the Ansonia passers out of transition.

Players like sophomore Grace Fry and senior Ashlyn Miller had great nights serving the ball. Fry also did a great job passing the ball around and running the offense. Hitters like senior Haley Smith and junior Mackenzie Byrne were able to make an impact on the game from Fry’s passing.

Holman gave her seniors credit for helping lead this team past that first set and to play great the last three sets. She said her team last year wouldn’t have been able to come back from a set like that.

“These seniors took it and ran with it tonight. They were not going to accept a loss. So they came back fighting. It’s just not through actions on the court, they’re pumping each other up on the bench. They’re doing everything I need for them to do,” Holman said.

Arcanum won the second set 25-12 and the third set 25-12.

In the fourth set, things got interesting late. Arcanum had a 19-13 lead late and the momentum seemed to be firmly on Arcanum’s side.

But the Lady Tigers fought back late. The team had some small runs in the second and third set, but couldn’t sustain any momentum. This time around, Ansonia started to get some momentum going.

Players like senior Addie Marker and senior Alyssa Schmitmeyer started to find the open spots on the court again. Their serving started to pick up late as well.

Holman said she told her team during the fourth set to play point by point and not to celebrate early. They can’t let up before they get to 25.

Arcanum refocused and was able to get the 25-19 set win to seal the 3-1 match win.

Schlarman said her team showed the can play up to Arcanum’s level. They will learn from this match and move forward with a whole season ahead of them.

“Arcanum has a really good set of girls, but I think our girls can play just as much up to their ability. For the upcoming season and the games that we have coming up, we can learn from this and make ourselves better,” Schlarman said.

Ansonia moves to 2-3 on the season and 1-1 in WOAC play. Arcanum is 5-0 on the season. The Lady Tigers will take on Dixie at home on Sept. 7 after a non-conference matchup with Botkins at home on Sept. 2. The Lady Trojans will face Preble Shawnee on the road on Sept. 7 after they go to Fort Recovery on Sept. 2.

Contact Daily Advocate sports editor Drew Terhall at [email protected]

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