GREENVILLE – Greenville is playing more consistent as the season winds down, coach Lori Davis said, but the improvement wasn’t enough on Wednesday as the Lady Wave lost 25-18, 25-19, 25-12 to Xenia.
Xenia started off strong and scored the first four points of the night before the Greenville volleyball team rebounded and went on a 6-3 run to close the gap to a single point.
“I think they came out with a great net game,” Davis said. “They were blocking really, really well. We started warming up and playing off of those really well. Other aspects of the game just kind of dropped off. Our serves … we had a lot of missed serves. I think that’s what took us out of it there. But for the most part these girls are getting more and more aggressive every time.”
Greenville kept it close for the next few minutes before Xenia started to pull away with a 5-0 run that made it 20-12. The Lady Wave couldn’t fight their way back and lost the opening set 25-18.
The second game started off strong for Greenville, who scored the first three points of the set. The Wave maintained their lead until Xenia tied it up at 8-8.
From there it was a back-and-forth match with multiple ties, including at 13-13. And when it looked like Xenia would start to pull away with a 3-0 run, Greenville went on a 3-0 run of its own and tied the game up at 16-16, prompting Xenia to use a timeout.
“The pace of the game, they’re getting quicker and quicker and quicker,” Davis said. “And when they see success off of that block, then it really builds them up, gives them confidence. So, yeah, we want to see more of those.”
After the break, Xenia rebounded and went on a 9-3 run to end the game with a 25-19 victory and a two-games-to-none lead in the match.
Greenville again got off to a strong start in the third set and took an early 4-1 lead. After Xenia fought back and tied the game at 5-5, Greenville retook the lead at 6-5. That turned out to be Greenville’s final lead of the night.
After keeping it close with ties at 7-7, 8-8, 9-9 and 10-10, Greenville lost its momentum as Xenia went on a 15-2 run to close out the game with a 25-12 victory to sweep the match.
“We get of system, and then it is hard to come back from it,” Davis said. “But that’s one of those things that we’re battling, is keep your attitude positive and keep the atmosphere on your side positive and things start falling your way again.”
While Greenville is starting to play more consistently, the Lady Wave still have areas to improve, Davis said. But it’s still exciting to see some growth from the team, she said.
“We have moments of brilliance that I’ve seen from the beginning,” Davis said. “We’re tying more of them together here at the end.”
Among the players who played well for Greenville on Tuesday were senior Ellie Light and sophomore Cassie Cromwell.
“Ellie Light played a heck of a game at the net,” Davis said. “She had some serious blocks. And Cassie Cromwell played great defense, picked up balls that were tough to reach in that back row.”
Greenville fell to 2-18 with Wednesday’s loss while Xenia improved to 9-11. Greenville will return to action in its final home match of the season on Tuesday against Fairborn.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports. For more features online go to advocate360.org or ‘like The Daily Advocate’ on Facebook by searching Advocate360.