BROOKVILLE – The Arcanum volleyball team continues to prove it is “Ram” tough by dispatching the No. 3 seed Jamestown Greeneview Rams on Saturday afternoon. “The Match,” as most fans would probably attest to, was one of the greatest volleyball matches ever played by two opposing teams. Arcanum advanced by making a couple more plays when they needed to in winning out over the heartbroken Rams by the tallies of 25-23, 18-25, 18-25, 25-21 and 17-15.
Greeneview’s season ends with a 20-3 mark along with 5 saddened seniors dreaming of what might have been on their trek back to Jamestown in Greene County. Arcanum keeps on trucking with their 21-3 record which continues to add to their school record in wins for a season. Next up in the sectional finals is Cross County Conference champion Miami East at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Miami East defeated the talented Trojans in five sets during the regular season. The fourth-seeded Vikings humbled Urbana in straight sets earlier in the day to earn their way to the sectional finals.
Coach Macey O’Dell rang the bell in the opening set for the Trojans as they jumped out to a 3-1 lead highlighted by a spike from freshman Taylor Gray. The game continued to seesaw back and forth with five ties during the set to keep the 350 fans tongue tied and glued to their seats. Junior Audrey Heiser broke one of the ties at 4-4 with a spike to spur on the Darke County squad in this all important opening set. Junior Camille Pohl buried a shot at the net that could have landed all the way in Sunbury for a 9-6 advantage.
Greeneview continued to battle and ripped off four straight to take their only lead of the game at 10-9 much to Coach O’Dell’s chagrin. However, that was the last lead the Rams needed to worry about as Arcanum retaliated with four straight for a 13-10 lead, and later on increased it to 15-11 with a Gray pop at the net. The Rams continued to keep it extremely close and edgy getting it to 18-17 at one time. The Trojans got to another four-point advantage at 23-19 with a patented smash from junior Gracie Garno that smashed any Ram comeback hopes. Heiser heisted one over the net for the Trojans 25th point to seal the deal and close out the first game.
Game No. 2 saw Greeneview jump out to a 3-1 lead and hold on for dear life as they survived eight ties during this back-and-forth affair. The Trojans did have several early leads during this slugfest with the last one being at 8-7 on the strength of some Heiser hi-jinks with dinks and smashes. The last tie was at 11-all before the lights started to fall on the Trojans attempting to take a commanding two game advantage. The Rams took advantage of some Trojan miscues and unleashed senior Caitlin Sweat and her mammoth strikes. Greeneview rammed thru the last four points to win by seven at 25-18 to even things up.
Game three saw much more ebb and flow than the other two as Greeneview jumped out to greener pastures with a 7-4 advantage. Arcanum ramped up its defense and offensive prowess by ripping off six straight points to muzzle the Rams contingent to lead 10-7. Pohl continued to pulverize the ball and the lead mounted to 13-9 with Trojan nation smiling. However, the smiles turned to frowns as the Rams rammed home six straight points after the Trojans got it to 19-18 after some scoreboard shenanigans. The Rams were looking like they were ram tough as they rambled into the fourth game with the all important momentum strongly on their side.
The fourth game saw the Rams racing out to a 4-3 lead with thoughts of closing the match out dancing through their heads. The Trojans responded with heads up play that couldn’t have come at a better time for assistant coach Brandey Brubaker and head mentor Macey O’Dell. Heiser, Gray and Pohl helped catapult the squad from a 7-7 tie with a series of smashes and dinks to never fall behind again. The Rams got as close as 24-21, but were done in by a dainty dink by Heiser that did not make them feel wiser as Trojan nation arose for game number 5.
The tie-breaking fifth game started with all fans checking their pulses, pacemakers and looking for the nearest A.E.D. station available as the two-hour Brookville marathon hit the final leg. Arcanum took a leg up to go up 4-2 with perhaps only 11 points to go for victory. Not so fast the Ohio Heritage Conference champion Rams shouted as they dissected the Trojan defense at times to get six of the next seven points for a 8-5 advantage. The Trojans retaliated with gumption from Garno and Gray to garner 7 of the next nine points to go up 12-10 with all signs pointing to a victory. Unfortunately, the Rams did not heed the signs and battered their way with Sweat and tears to go up 14-13. Heiser responded with a smash to tie it up again at 14-14. Pohl pulled the Trojans to the brink with a kill to put the Trojan fans on edge for a 15-14 advantage. The Rams still got loose on the perimeter to knot things up again at 15-all. With all the fans and media present, the Trojans’ Gray smashed the ball away and senior Macey Hartman served up a winner to close it out at 17-15 as pandemonium erupted on Blue Devil court.
”We came out strong and played amazing today. I would like to praise the entire team as no one gave up the entire match,” O’Dell said. ”Greeneview played an amazing game and all credit must go to them as they are a strong 20-win team. We play Miami East next as we go from the frying pan into the fire. We lost to them in the regular season in five sets that ultimately decided the league championship. We plan on going far in the tournament, but we must take it one game at a time. The entire team was on fire with the defense being strong and the hitters being on. The fan section was great and it was awesome to hear Trojan nation cheer us on.”