BROOKVILLE – It was a rematch that the National Trail Blazers had marked on their calendar since Sept.16 when the Arcanum Lady Trojans volleyball team took care of them in four games at Arcanum.
However, revenge was not to be as Arcanum possessed all the cards in dealing out a straight set victory, 25-11, 25-18 and 25-20 Saturday evening.
“’We played a very smart team in Arcanum who had great cohesiveness and outplayed us at the net in dominating fashion,” National Trail coach Joy Yeazel said. “We’ve had an up-and-down emotional season, but we did improve from 6-16 to 8-14. We do lose five seniors, but we have good freshmen playing well. (Lexi) Acton played well for us tonight and had several kills and blocks. We had a nice lead in the third set but could not close it out as we need to work on our pursuit of the ball, but I am proud of them all.”
The first set saw National Trail jump out to a 1-0 lead, but that was the only lead the Blazers held for the entire game. Trail did tie at 2-all but Arcanum fired back by nailing the next five points to go up 7-2.
Arcanum increased its lead to 10-5 with outstanding net play. The Trojans then put it into overdrive with kills by Rebecca Deao and assists by Brittany Kinney to go from a 15-10 count to 22-10 with seven straight points. Outstanding net play again wrapped up the first set as Arcanum dosed the Blazers flames, 25-11.
The second set was more of the same as Arcanum came out to a 6-1 advantage with Alexis Abner serving well with plenty of pace on the Molten ball. Trail did not trail in the hustle department as the Blazers closed it to 9-5.
However, Arcanum then caught fire with the net girls taking over with kills galore to open up a 15-7 advantage, causing Trail’s coach to call a much needed timeout. Trail responded well to Coach Yeazel’s verbals with Acton serving up five straight points, raising the score to 15-12.
The Arcanum Trojans then killed the mini rally with a rally buster of their own by ripping off six counters with several blocks to go up 21-12. The Preble County squad put together one last gasp effort to close the gap to 23-18 before succumbing to the powerful Trojans, 25-18.
The third set saw coach Yeazel’s Trailblazers squad coming out like Vin Diesel in fast and furious fashion by accelerating to a lead of 7-3 before five straight points by the Darke County squad made it read 8-7 powered by Deao’s strong serving prowess.
Trail then popped off six straight points to go up 13-8 and held on to an 18- 13 advantage with visions of a fourth set dancing in their heads. Not so fast as the saying goes as Lucy Shannon unleashed her cannon of a serve for the Trojans to go up 20-18. Deao of Arcanum then became more popular than ’80’s heavy metalist Ronnie James Dio to Trojan fans as she rocked her patented kill shot to make the final tally 25-20 to close out the match.
“We came out strong and played well at the net,” Arcanum coach Terri Day said. “Our girls came out prepared and communicated out on the court. Individually Abner had four aces, Kinney had 16 assists and Deao steadied the ship with 10 blocks and eight kills.”
Next up for the talented Trojans with their 17 wins are the West Liberty-Salem Tigers, who earned the No. 3 seed in the sectional tournament at 16-4. Brookville High School’s gym will be rocking with Darke County schools abounding tonight as Versailles, the No. 7 seed, serves things out at 7:30 p.m. against the No. 4 seed Northwestern Warriors.