NEW MADISON – Arcanum swept Tri-Village 25-20, 25-20, 25-16 in a Cross County Conference volleyball match on Tuesday in New Madison.
With the conclusion of the regular season quickly approaching, both teams left Tuesday’s match feeling good about their play and confident for the upcoming Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament.
“We played pretty well,” Arcanum coach Macey O’Dell said. “We came out a little slow tonight, which we had four games last week – it was a huge week for us – so we came out slow, but we finished and got the job done.”
Even though his team lost in straight sets, Tri-Village coach Eric Burkhart thought his Patriots played well against a strong Arcanum squad.
“We played pretty good tonight,” he said. “I’d like to see us be a little more aggressive. Our sets I think has to be a little tighter to the net so we can get a swing on them, but overall I think we played better. I switched up a rotation; I went to a 6-2 tonight just so that we could have three hitters in the front row for this team, and I think we played pretty good. Overall we played pretty good.”
The teams played evenly early on with Arcanum holding a slight 6-5 lead in the opening set before going on a 9-2 run to extend its advantage. Moments later with Arcanum having set point at 24-12, Tri-Village put together a string of eight consecutive points to pull closer at 24-20 before Arcanum scored the winning point.
The second set was close with Tri-Village staying within a few points of Arcanum throughout the game. But from a 17-17 tie Arcanum again finished strong with an 8-3 run to win 25-20 and go up two sets to none in the best-of-five match.
“They don’t give a lot of free balls,” Burkhart said of Arcanum. “They’re scrappy, and they’re going to get a hit on the ball no matter what.”
Tri-Village began the third set strong and opened the game with a 7-3 lead.
“Sometimes I think they like to play from behind,” O’Dell said of her team. “But we always get the job done, and that’s what it’s about. We’re going strong right now into tournament, and that’s what I like.”
Arcanum did finish strong in the set, scoring eight consecutive points to take an 11-7 lead that propelled the Trojans to a 25-16 win and a sweep of the match.
Arcanum’s Brittany Kinney set a record in the Trojans’ victory, breaking the school record for most career assists.
For Tri-Village Edie Morris had five kills in Tuesday’s match, Maddie Downing had three blocks, Kara Hollinger had 17 digs, and Alana Holsapple had nine assists.
Arcanum improved to 15-4 overall and 9-2 in the CCC with Tuesday’s win while Tri-Village fell to 5-13 overall and 3-7 in the conference.
Arcanum will play host to Dixie on Monday before closing out the regular season with Newton and Mississinawa Valley. Tri-Village will finish up with conference matches against Twin Valley South and Tri-County North next week.
“I look at them as two winnable games for us,” Burkhart said, “and we’re going to go in that way knowing that we can finish the season strong.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.