Many of the players taking part in Tuesday’s varsity volleyball match between the Washington Lady Blue Lions and Miami Trace Lady Panthers were very, very young, or perhaps not yet born the last time Miami Trace had beaten Washington.
It was indeed a long time in coming for Miami Trace, but Tuesday, in front of a large rivalry crowd, on Volley for the Cure night at Washington High School, Miami Trace emerged victorious in three games, 26-24, 25-17 and 25-19.
The best information the Record-Herald has at this time puts the year at 1998 as to when Miami Trace last beat Washington in a varsity volleyball match.
“Tonight, once we got into the first game, we found we could play with them,” Miami Trace head coach Doug Mace said. “We may have gotten over the next hump or hurdle that’s been in front of us. This has been a mental thing; they have to learn how to be in this kind of environment and rise to the occassion.
“This is the first time I’ve seen this kind of play out of the girls this year,” Mace said. “For an entire match. We did some good things. I’m very proud of them.”
Miami Trace, now 4-2 in the SCOL, will play at Chillicothe Thursday.
“It’s going to be tough for us to maintain that level of play going forward,” Mace said. “Now that they know they can do it, hopefully down the road we’ll put another match together where we can rise up and play pretty tough like that. Hopefully, by tournament time, we’ll be able to do that more often.
“That’s why we play,” Mace said. “You want to be able to go out and play in this type of a match where you have student sections and a big crowd and everyone cheering for both teams. That’s a memory for the girls they’ll be able to keep for a long time.”
Mace spoke a bit about the team he formerly coached: Washington.
“They’re a really good team,” Mace said. “There’s a reason they’ve won so many championships. Every year when Washington C.H. and Miami Trace play, you can throw the records out, because of the rivalry, both teams want to win so badly. I don’t think they did anything wrong, they just had a few things go against them at the wrong time.
“We took advantage of a couple of opportunities late in the game that kind of swung the momentum our way and away from them,” Mace said. “We were able to get a couple of points when we needed to and got some stops when we needed to. That was huge for us.”
“I think our girls just got a little bit too much in their own heads,” Washington head coach Ashley DeAtley said. “They created islands and just didn’t play well together. They would come back a few points and then drop off again. It just wasn’t enough. We just didn’t play as a team and that’s what got us. I told the girls we’ve got to get back to practice, take a step forward and learn from this.”
Washington, now 6-1 in the SCOL, (6-6 overall) will host Clinton-Massie Thursday.
In the j-v match Tuesday, Washington defeated Miami Trace, 25-21, 21-25 and 25-22.
Statistically for Washington: Megan Mullins and Haley Maxie led servers with two aces each. Jaycie McRoberts led hitters with five kills. Maria Wilson, Delaney Greer, and Faith Kobel each had three kills. Maxie had 10 digs, followed by Maria Wilson with eight digs. Megan Mullins had 10 assists.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1