Arcanum volleyball team fights off late surge by Tri-County North


By J. C. Tilton - For The Daily Advocate



LEWISBURG – After the Arcanum junior varsity won its match against Tri-County North in straight sets, the momentum seemed to carry forward to the varsity match as Arcanum simply shredded North 25-9 in the first set.

But from there North seemed to get stronger and the Arcanum volleyball team had to reach deep to get the next two wins. The Trojans won the match in three sets, but it was not easy.

The second set saw Arcanum open up a nice lead, due in part to strong front line play. Arcanum was up 13-3 when North’s coach Melissa Wilson-Stockwell – North’s fourth coach in four years – took a timeout to stop the momentum and get her team refocused. This worked as North went on a surprising 9-2 run to close the gap.

What looked to be a rout was now a close game. When the score was 16-12 Arcanum coach Macey O’Dell had seen enough and spent a timeout to get her team back on track. She later related that this timeout was used to get the team back on basics. Whatever was said seemed to wake up the team as the Trojans grew a lead and held off a late challenge to win the second set 25-21.

A young North team seemed to get better with each set in this match. Down by two sets a lot of teams would have mailed in the third set, but North was not going down easy.

The score was tied multiple times 13-all, 15-all and 17-all; North was determined. When Arcanum caught a wave and grew a 21-18 lead, Tri-County North took a timeout.

The Panthers rallied after the timeout, and on the other hand, Arcanum seemed like it didn’t want to win it – letting the ball hit the floor several times in the stretch. This allowed North to close the gap again.

With the score 23-24 Coach O’Dell took a final timeout, read the team the riot act and got the Trojans playing winning ball. They finally won the last set 25-23.

After a swift start it turned out to be a hard earned win for the Trojans.

Stevie Johnting and Shai Robinson had good nights for the Trojans. Robinson had approximately 15 kills on the night and Johnting led the team in blocks.

Coach O’Dell later stated that Johnting was a beast at the net – but both Robinson and Johnting dominated for Arcanum on Tuesday night.

“The first two games we played hard – the way we should play,” O’Dell said. “But the last game we had a lot of silly errors. But we overcame that and won the match. Overall we played well. We are coming up on a tough stretch of games, we go against Trail, then Greenville, who always plays us tough, and finally we play Miami East. We talked in the locker room tonight that we have to prepare for these games.”

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By J. C. Tilton

For The Daily Advocate