Athens junior Rylee Toadvine sets up to serve.
Athens junior Rylee Toadvine sets up to serve.

Ace Nation: Warren extends undefeated streak against Athens

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VINCENT, Ohio (WOUB) — On Tuesday, the Athens Bulldogs traveled to Warren High School for a nonconference matchup. Athens was ready to make a statement and pick up a road win against the unbeaten Warriors. Despite their determination, Athens was unsuccessful, losing 3-0.

In the first set, the Warriors started out strong with multiple runs. Warren demonstrated their offensive firepower in their front row with several different options. Makena Long, Sydney Statcher, and Madyson Long all stood out in front of the net, overpowering Athens’ defense. The spirited Bulldog defense fought hard, but the Warriors continued to counter with consistent pressure. Warren capitalized on the Bulldogs’ slow start winning the first set 25-13.

After a one-sided first set, Athens got more comfortable on offense and defense, keying in on Libero Alexa Reed. Reed had several clean passes in sets two and three creating more opportunities for the Athens attack.

But a Warren service run in the second set would leave Athens down 17-10. Athens’ Ava Williams delivered a critical hit getting Bulldogs out of the slump. Unfortunately it was not enough, as Athens dropped set number two, 25-17.

The third set was a back-and-forth affair throughout with Warriors and Bulldogs trading blows. Athens looked poised to take the set after three straight aces by Rylee Toadvine to make it 15-13. Despite this, Athens could not get past the Warrior front line, losing the third set 25-20. After highlighting their offensive firepower the entire match, Warren showed their defensive prowess and grit by closing with a sweep .

“One of the things that we always talked about was mindset,” said Ann Skufca. “After a mistake, we have to clear our minds, go ahead and get it back on track.”

Warren will host Shenandoah in a battle of undefeated teams on Thursday, August 31. The Bulldogs will look to bounce back from this tough matchup as they travel to River Valley on Thursday, August 31.