The Washington Lady Blue Lion volleyball team opened tournament play at home Wednesday taking on Sheridan.
Washington was seeded No. 4 in the Sectional and Sheridan was a No. 5 seed.
In a closely-contested match, Washington defeated Sheridan, 3-2.
Scores of the games were: 17-25, 25-17, 25-18, 23-25 and 15-12.
Washington, now 14-9, will play for a Sectional championship Saturday at 4 p.m. at Unioto High School against the Lady Shermans.
Unioto (the No. 1 seed in the tournament) defeated Fairfield Union Wednesday, 25-19, 25-16, 20-25 and 25-20.
“At first it seemed my girls were a little too focused,” Washington head coach Ashley DeAtley said. “Sometimes you don’t want that. You want them just to play their game. I was a little worried with that, at first, but, then we loosened up.
“We started seeing the girls play with more confidence,” DeAtley said. “I told them to start attacking, because we were pushing things too much, just playing safe.
“When we started hitting, we started getting on,” DeAtley said. “Then, our blocking came alive. Our middles did an excellent job blocking. I have to give credit to Faith Kobel, our sophomore middle. She was just blocking, blocking away.
“Number seven for them, I would say, was their go-to person,” DeAtley said. “We kind of focused in on her, because they were setting her quite a bit. I told Faith to stick with her and she did a nice job of that.
“Defensively, our back row, with Haley Maxie being on, and Jaycie (McRoberts), of course, when we could and Brooklyn (Wilson), did a nice job,” DeAtley said. “It was just overall nice play. I’m proud of my girls.
“We were missing Maria Wilson tonight and Delaney Greer stepped in for her and did a nice job,” DeAtley said. “We had some ups and downs in the play, but, I’m proud that we were able to come back.”
The first game Wednesday was indicative of just how competitive this match was.
There were six lead changes throughout the first game.
Washington never led in the first game by more than one point.
After Sheridan took a 15-14 lead, they never trailed the remainder of the game, taking the 25-17 win.
Washington got things going in game two, building a 19-14 lead on their way to a 25-17 win to even the match.
In the third game, Washington took an early 3-2 lead and stayed in front the rest of the way to the 25-18 victory. That game was closed out on a kill by Jaycie McRoberts.
Sheridan showed their resiliency in game four.
Washington was out early, 3-0, but Sheridan took the lead at 6-5 and improved upon that until they were leading, 15-8.
Washington came back in this game, trying to end the match in four.
The Lady Lions fought back until they tied the score, 18-18.
Sheridan was able to maintain a one or two-point lead the rest of the way until they tied the match, 25-23.
In the fifth and deciding game, Washington continued to display strong blocking that was a highlight of their play.
The Lady Lions took a 5-3 lead. Sheridan answered with a five-point run to go in front, 8-5.
Washington tied the score, 8-8 and again, 9-9 on the kill by Hannah Haithcock.
Sheridan responded taking what would be its final lead of the game at 11-10.
Brooklyn Wilson had a kill for Washington and Sheridan was called for touching the net to make it 12-11, Washington.
Coming out of a Sheridan timeout, McRoberts had a kill for Washington for a 13-11 lead, just two points from the match.
Megan Mullins executed a touch shot that dropped in to bring Washington to match point, 14-12.
After another timeout, McRoberts went back to serve for Washington.
Haithcock got the solo block for the winning play for the Lady Lions, 15-12.
Statistically for Washington:
Blocks: Victoria Jones, 7-10, 5 solo; Hannah Haithcock, 5-5, 3 solo; Faith Kobel, 8-9, 2 solo
Attacks: Jaycie McRoberts, 27-30, 9 kills; Hannah Haithcock, 21-24, 5 kills; Faith Kobel, 14-16, 5 kills
Serving: Jaycie McRoberts, 15-18, 1 ace; Megan Mullins, 13-15, 2 aces; Victoria Jones, 17-20
Setting: Megan Mullins, 64-66, 16 assists
Digs: Haley Maxie, 19-24; Jaycie McRoberts, 16-20; Brooklyn Wilson, 12-14.
SCOL honors four Lady Lions
Four Washington Lady Blue Lion volleyball players have been recognized by the South Central Ohio League with all-league honors for 2015.
Seniors Megan Mullins and Jaycie McRoberts and junior Haley Maxie have been named First Team, All-SCOL. They will be honored at the league’s fall sports banquet in November.
Freshman Hannah Haithcock was named Second Team, All-SCOL.
In other Sectional matches involving SCOL teams Wednesday, Chillicothe defeated Waverly, 3-2; Circleville beat Hillsboro, 3-0 and Logan Elm beat McClain, 3-0.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1