CHILLICOTHE — The Washington Lady Blue Lions played the Chillicothe Lady Cavaliers for the fourth time this season Wednesday night.
The occasion was the Division II Sectional tournament and the match was played at Chillicothe High School.
The two teams split their Frontier Athletic Conference matches this season, both winning on the other’s home court, both winning in five sets.
In the Unioto tournament, that match went to three sets with the win going to Chillicothe.
On Wednesday, it was another match that was too close to call. So close that it needed a fifth and deciding set and on this night, Washington pulled away with the victory.
Scores of the sets were: 25-21, 16-25, 19-25, 25-14 and 15-10.
“You know this year we went 19 sets with Chillicothe,” Washington head coach Ashley DeAtley said. “We played them four times and every time we played them (it went to) the max; three, five, five, five. It’s been an awesome time against them.”
The Lady Lions will now play for a Sectional championship Saturday at the No. 1 seed Sheridan. The match has a start time of 4 p.m.
The theme of Wednesday’s match was very much in keeping with the season, DeAtley explained.
“We’ve seen this kind of roller coaster, just kind of up and down and up and down,” DeAtley said. “We struggled a little bit, but we had some things that were working. Our blocking was working. We were getting touches on the ball and were able to slow it down, that was working.
“When we’d get a good pass, we could get a good swing on it,” DeAtley said. “That’s the biggest thing, making a good swing, but we have to have the pass. So, we struggled there a little bit. We told our hitters to make some adjustments with moving and reacting.
“I was proud of the defense for making that adjustment that we needed to make,” DeAtley said. “We made the adjustments and we went out and served a little bit tougher at the end, compared to the beginning. I think that’s what helped us out.”
In the first set, Washington led by as many as four points early on. Chillicothe caught up and took an 11-10 lead.
Washington regained the lead and built it up to as many as six points on the way to a 25-21 victory.
The second set saw a pronounced shift in momentum, with the ball more often than not falling Chillicothe’s way. The Lady Cavs led by as many as 11 points en route to a 25-16 victory to level the match.
The third set was another demonstration of how closely competitive are the two teams. Chillicothe held the slimmest of leads in the early stages. The Cavs’ biggest lead was only three points.
Washington stayed close and took a two-point lead at 16-14.
Chillicothe scored the next nine points and went on to win, 25-19.
Facing elimination, Washington could not have asked for a much better start in the fourth set. The Lady Lions took an 8-1 lead and never trailed, although Chillicothe got to within two points (10-12). After a Washington time out, the Lady Lions maintained their spark and extended the lead back to double-digits, rolling to a 25-14 decision.
Chillicothe led in the very early moments of the fifth set, but just by one point.
Washington went in front for the first time, 4-3 and was able to consolidate that advantage and seal the match, 15-10.
Statisitcally for Washington: Rayana Burns had 23 attacks; Brittney Wilson had seven, Mallory Hicks and Halli Wall each had four and Emily Semler had three.
Hicks had two ace serves; Wall, Wilson and Burns each had one.
Aaralyne Estep led with 29 digs. Wall had 20, Burns had 11 and Mackenzie Truex had 11.
Wilson had two solo blocks and three block assists; Burns had two block assists; Wall had one solo block and two block assists along with 32 set assists.
In other Division II Sectional volleyball matches Wednesday, Circleville defeated Miami Trace, 3-1 (25-11, 24-26, 25-11, 25-12).
Unioto defeated Marietta, 3-1; Fairfield Union beat McClain, 3-0; Waverly stopped Jackson, 3-0; Sheridan beat Logan Elm, 3-0 and Gallia Academy got by Athens, 3-0.