ARCANUM – Two of the Cross County Conference’s top volleyball teams squared off Thursday night as Ansonia visited Arcanum.
The Lady Tigers came into the match with a sparkling record of 12-2, and the Lady Trojans came into the evening’s action at 12-4. Arcanum was forced to use its entire offensive repertoire to defeat Ansonia in straight sets 25-10, 25-21 and 27-25.
“We played hard tonight,” Lady Trojans coach Macey O’Dell said. “The girls knew we had to. We came out so strong. We played awesome.”
Arcanum charged out of the gate in set one by scoring the first five points, causing Ansonia to take an early timeout. The Lady Trojans continued the pressure by scoring 12 of the next 17 points to increase their lead to 17-5, forcing another Ansonia stoppage of play. The Lady Tigers did begin to show signs of life before bowing out at 25-10.
Ansonia’s late set one spark carried over into the second set as the Lady Tigers were determined to take the play to Arcanum. Ansonia took 4-0 and 9-2 leads, forcing a Lady Trojan timeout to regroup before the Lady Tigers would stretch their lead to 14-5.
The next 15 points would be the changing point of the set as Arcanum would win 12 to tie the score at 17. The Lady Trojans rode the wave of momentum to outscore Ansonia 8-4 the rest of the way to take set two, 25-21.
“We played hard,” Ansonia coach Craig Riethman said. “Third set was the most competitive volleyball I’ve seen all year on both sides of the floor. Arcanum moves very well. They never stop moving their feet and makes it very difficult to score on them. We showed a lot of persistence in that third set and continued to go after them.”
Set three was an exciting ending to a highly competitive match. The teams matched each other point for point in the early going until Arcanum began to open up a small lead that increased to 15-8, causing Ansonia to use its final timeout of the set. The Lady Tigers gathered themselves and went on a 10-3 scoring run to draw the score even at 18. Arcanum edged out again to a two-point advantage only to see the Lady Tigers tie the set again at 23.
Ansonia had an opportunity to force a fourth set as the Tigers gained a 24-23 advantage but could not convert on the chance. Arcanum went on to close out the set at 27-25.
“This was definitely a team win,” Coach O’Dell said. “Nothing hit the floor and we pounded the net.”
“We showed some resilience by coming back,” Coach Riethman said. “We’re getting better each game, developing stronger physically and mentally.”
Arcanum with the victory moved to 13-4 on the season. Ansonia’s record fell to 12-3.