Mississinawa Valley volleyball gets comeback victory over rivals Ansonia


By Drew Terhall


UNION CITY — It was a comeback win for the Lady Blackhawks in this edition of the rivalry game against Ansonia. Mississinawa Valley came back from 0-2 to win 3-2 at home on Sep. 26.

Mississinawa Valley head coach Nancy Whitted said after they were down 0-2, everyone was on the same page right away in the huddle. They were ready to extend this match to five sets and win it.

“I told them after that second set, ‘We’re going to go to five, whether you like it or not’. They agreed and they hate to lose to Ansonia as much as anybody else. That rivalry going on. They just dug deep and showed them what they’re made of,” Whitted said.

The first two sets were back and forth. Both teams made small runs and the other responded to not let the game get too out of hand.

In the first set, Mississinawa Valley had a 19-13 lead. The Lady Tigers went on a 7-2 run to force a Lady Blackhawks timeout while they were up 21-20.

Ansonia started to finish off some volleys and went on a 5-2 run after that timeout to capture a set win, 25-23.

In the second set, the teams exchanged early leads and went point for point throughout the set. The serving for Ansonia started to give them an edge in the middle of the set.

Just like Mississinawa Valley, Ansonia called a timeout up 21-20 as the momentum was shifting towards the other team. The teams went point for point until they went into extra points. Ansonia kept their composure and won the second set, 27-25.

Ansonia head coach Lydia Schlarman said they started out on fire. They just played the rest of the match without a lot of urgency.

“Our first two games, we came out super strong. The girls were working well together, they’re swinging and our passes were there. I think we just got too comfortable in the third set and they relaxed too much,” Schlarman said.

The next two sets were all Mississinawa Valley. Both sets would start out close, but the Lady Blackhawks seperated themselves sooner rather than later.

The hitters for Mississinawa Valley started to get going. Whitted said players like seniors Brenna Price and Kenzea Townsend, sophomores Makenna and Cora Hoggatt and freshman Gretchen Rodeheffer all had good nights attacking the Ansonia defense.

Each hitter got Ansonia out of system and they were able to drill the ball to the open spots. It was total team effort as the back row also didn’t let much by them the last three sets of the match.

“Everybody was on their game. Everybody. They weren’t going to let a ball drop. That’s what it takes,” Whitted said.

Mississinawa Valley won the third set, 25-13, and the fourth set, 25-14. Ansonia made a few small runs during those sets, but couldn’t overcome the momentum Mississinawa Valley created for themselves.

In the fifth set, Mississinawa Valley raced out to a 6-1 lead and didn’t look back. Ansonia continued to show a lot of fight and made a small run after their first timeout. The Lady Blackhawks were determined to get this win and they responded to every Ansonia run.

Mississinawa Valley won 15-7 in the fifth and final set to complete the comback.

Ansonia is 8-10 on the season with a 4-4 conference record. They have lost their last five games. They do have four games left to build on the positives from this match in time for the postseason tournament.

“Our girls have to get comfortable within themselves and with their teammates. I think we’re a good team, we just need to learn how to finish a game,” Schlarman said.

Mississinawa Valley is now 12-5 on the season with a 6-2 conference record. They are still behind Newton, Preble Shawnee and Arcanum in the WOAC standings with five games left. Whitted said the team was upset after their loss to Arcanum on Sep. 19, but hopes this win can propel them to a strong finish entering postseason play.

“They were really upset with themselves when they lost to Arcanum. They could hang with them and even beat them but they fell from first to fourth. I think this gives them a good push to finish out the season with wins and have a strong run in the tournament,” Whitted said.

Ansonia will host Preble Shawnee on Sep. 28 with the junior varsity starting at 5:30 p.m. Mississinawa Valley will head to Bradford on Sep. 28 with that match also starting at 5:30 p.m.

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

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