BROOKVILLE – Arcanum won a rematch against Dixie in the opening round the Ohio High School Athletic Association volleyball tournament on Tuesday in Brookville.
The Trojans won the first match about a week ago and although they repeated their three-set win it was a little harder to pull out that third set win this time around. The scoring was 25-10, 25-13, 25-22.
In the first two sets Arcanum was methodical and precise. The Trojans were almost machine-like in hammering away at Dixie and constantly having the Greyhounds on the defensive. They did a good job of attacking the net, and they did a great job of digging the ball and passing it to the front line.
Even some of the shorter players were getting some good plays at the net. Elle Siculan and Gracie Garno got several kills. Siculan unofficially led the team in assists with 19.
“Garno hit the ball well tonight,” Arcanum coach Macey O’Dell said. “She is actually our second setter. She hustles. She knows that she has to get to the ball. She is one of the biggest hustlers on the team. She works hard. She is good at the net and did make some good plays tonight.”
Dixie did not help its cause with several net serves and during play the Greyhounds were not consistent in getting the ball to their front line. So they were sending the ball back over the net for Arcanum to set back up for another try at a kill.
The second set began with good front line play with several blocks and kills by Siculan, Camille Pohl and Audrey Heiser. After Pohl got yet another kill to put Arcanum up 13-6, the Dixie coach took a timeout to try and stop the bleeding. But Dixie did not respond and let Arcanum extend its lead.
Arcanum had a little hiccup where the Trojans gave up three points in a row but still managed to win without much fanfare. Jenna Haney scored the game point.
So after two easy wins, it looked like Arcanum would make an early night of it. The team seemed very relaxed in the huddle before the last set – too relaxed as it would turn out. With the end of their season in sight, the Hounds caught another gear and went to work. Arcanum seemed to be distracted and played very sloppy.
Where Arcanum had played with the lead in the first two sets, now the Trojans were playing from behind. At one point, it was 10-6 Dixie. Heiser got a kill that sparked a little rally, and Arcanum would draw even at 9-all. The teams tied two more times, and finally Arcanum was able to gain a lead. But it would not last long.
Coach O’Dell finally had to take a timeout when Arcanum threw its lead away and was down 20-19. The passing was poor and the sets were not making their mark.
After the timeout Arcanum went to work to close out the final set. After gaining a lead due to a bad serve from Dixie, Garno got a block for a point and Macey Hartman aced a serve to get the game point and send the Trojans home victorious.
“We did not play to our ability that last match,” Coach O’Dell said. “We let them get back into it. But the other sets we played as a team, and that is what we need to do right now. We need to practice hard this week and come out ready to play on Saturday.”
Unofficially Pohl lead the team in kills with nine and Haney lead the team with blocks with four.
Arcanum will play Anna – who beat Brookville 25-12, 24-26, 25-13, 25-11 – at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Brookville.