UNION CITY – Mississinawa Valley played host to its state route 47 neighbor, the Ansonia Tigers.
Ansonia came ready to play and took it to the home team 25-15 in the first set with good hitting, passing and serving.
“They are a good team, and I knew it was going to be a tough game,” Mississinawa Valley volleyball coach Billie Hunt said. “We have a tendency to start off slow.”
The Blackhawks woke up in the second set, playing a spirited brand of volleyball and winning points they easily could have given up.
“We started waking up, and we served well,” Coach Hunt said. “Kelsie Hunt had some good hits in the front row, and we started to challenge.”
Ansonia got a little separation as the set progressed and held a 23 – 17 lead … but that’s when the Hawks rallied, bringing it all the way back to 23-23. The Tigers dug deep to salvage the second set, winning it 25-23.
“Our girls played well tonight … I felt like we had some nice set-ups and then had lapses, and we need to be more consistent by string two, three or four good plays in a row,” Ansonia coach Craig Riethman said. “Our energy level after a good play would lag, and that’s not where we need to be. The next couple of weeks are real big, and we want to be playing our best to put us in a good position for the tournament draw coming up.”
In the final set Mississinawa looked good early but lost its momentum as Ansonia seemed to find the open spots in the Hawk defense with pinpoint placement to win the final set 25-14.
“There tips at the net killed us, and tomorrow we are going to be working on that,” Coach Hunt said. “Yes, they have good hitters and servers, but we just got beat on the tips.”
“Lydia Sink was as focused as I’ve seen all year,” Riethman said. “She played through all three sets, and I was impressed how she responded tonight.
“Bailey Stammen was very consistent again,” Riethman added. “We rely on her to do a lot for us. She sets the front, sets the back and throw in a few kills as well. There is a lot on her plate, and she feels that, and that’s where we need all our girls taking some pressure of those two.
“All our girls have been working hard, and we are making strides,” Riethman concluded.
Ansonia improved to 11-1 overall and is looking to keep things rolling when Franklin Monroe visits on Thursday.
“We have a good group of girls who get along, but they lost momentum a few times throughout the contest … we have some more games coming up, and we have to pull it together and try and finish strong,” Coach Hunt concluded.
Mississinawa Valley dropped to 6-7 overall and will try and get back on the winning track when the Hawks play at Tri-Village on Thursday.