NEW CARLISLE – Greenville started the Ohio High School Athletic Association sectional tournament with a three-set victory against Ponitz Career Technology Center on Tuesday at Tecumseh High School.
“We got a win. I’m happy,” said Greenville volleyball coach Chelsea Dowd, whose team won the match 25-13, 25-15, 25-9. “We started off slow – that seems to be our M.O. – but we picked it up, we started to make less errors, and after that first set it really started to come together nicely. Overall good night.”
Greenville got off to a slow start and faced multiple deficits early on including at 4-2 and 7-6. With Ponitz scoring three consecutive points to go up 7-6, Dowd used a timeout to get her girls focused.
“Sometimes it just takes a little while to get your head truly focused on what’s going on,” said Dowd, who didn’t have to use a timeout the rest of the night. “Tournament’s really exciting, and it kind of sometimes gets the better of you … just at the beginning. After that timeout they were good to go. They got it done.”
After the break Greenville came out strong and scored five of the next six points to take an 11-8 lead. From that point forward the Lady Wave never trailed the rest of the night.
After closing out the first set with a 19-6 run, Greenville started off the second game with a 3-0 run. Ponitz scored the next three points to tie the set at 3-all, but then the Wave scored the next seven to take firm control. From there the outcome was never in doubt as Greenville went on to win 25-15 and go up two games to none in the best-of-five match.
The third set was the best of the night for Greenville, who never trailed in that game. The Wave scored eight of the first 10 points and never looked back on their way to a 25-9 victory and a three-set sweep.
With Tuesday’s victory, Greenville has won its sectional tournament opener in back-to-back seasons. The tournament success, which Greenville lacked at the beginning of the decade, is a good sign for the program, Dowd said.
“Each year the same girls come back, a lot of girls are starting to play club (volleyball), and they’re really starting to invest in Greenville volleyball, which is great for our program,” she said. “I think it’s really exciting to get one tournament win because it’s so much more than we’ve done for a really long time.”
Greenville now advances to play Kenton Ridge in the second round of the tournament at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Tecumseh. Kenton Ridge, who is the top-seeded team in the sectional, beat Greenville 25-17, 25-16, 25-11 in last year’s sectional tournament.
“We played Kenton Ridge the second round last year as well, and we played competitive volleyball with them,” Dowd said. “So I know that we can compete with them because we’ve done it before, and I told the girls if we work hard in practice the next couple of days (and) we show on Monday ready to go, it should be a good match. That’s the goal.”
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.