Ace Nation: Athens back on track with sweep against River Valley

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – The Athens Bulldogs hosted the River Valley Raiders on Tuesday, and they walking away with a quick sweep of the Raiders. This game was an important one for Athens as they finally got back into the win column after four games. Tuesday’s victory provided a much needed confidence boost to get the Bulldogs back on track for their standing in the TVC Ohio. 

The first set was a slow start with neither team taking a definitive lead. Energy was low and there were many errors by the both offenses early in the play. Athens squeaked by with a win to take the first set 25-18, but it was evident that there was more work to be done. 

“We’ve kind of been down right now and we just need to find that love and passion for the game and find that unity as a team again,” Coach Haley Hart said.  “And that’s easier to do when you have a success”.  

The Bulldogs offense found its punch in set two after some encouragement from Coach Hart. They delivered deep kills and gained an early lead against the Raiders. Senior Ava Williams was killing it – literally. She hit five of the 10 kills in the second set from the outside position.  

Girls' high school volleyball: Athens Bulldogs celebrate a point victory on the court
Athens Bulldogs celebrate a point victory on the court

Meanwhile, Athens’ back row picked up every wayward tip and deep corner kill River Valley served. The defense’s aggressive full court coverage took Athens to a 25-15 second set victory. 

Serving was strong for the Bulldogs in the third set. The excitement from the first two sets bled into the team’s performance. Libero Alexa Reed carried a three-ace streak in the last set, racking up seven total aces for the game.  

“I feel like the aces really just bring the energy up because my teammates were really proud of me,” Alexa Reed said. “Being consistent with the little things really brings the excitement out in us.” 

Athens carried the serving into the rest of their gameplay. River Valley was quick to gain a few points at the beginning of set three, but Athens regained control over the ball quickly for a fervent win 25-16. 

On Thursday Athens will visit Wellston and River Valley will play at Alexander.