Ace Nation: Spartans rock Raiders in a tough sweep

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ALBANY, Ohio (WOUB) — The River Valley Raiders and the Alexander Spartans met on Tuesday for their second game of the week. River Valley suffered a tough conference loss against Athens on Tuesday, while Alexander swept in a conference match-up against Vinton County. The Spartans came in looking to start a winning streak, while the Raiders looked for redemption. 

Alexander came out of the gates strong with senior hitter Lexi Grissett scoring five kills within the Spartans first 11 points. Raider Hayley Edwards retaliated with three aces in a row to put River Valley within five points of Alexander. The Spartans continued to display their dominance throughout the first set, leaving the Raiders back row to try and clean up aggressive hits. Alexander won the first set 25-14.  

In the second set, the Raiders’ serve receive improved. There was a stalling period where both teams struggled with errors, but the Spartans finally capitalized on their opponents’ mistakes. Alexander created an eight-point score gap halfway through the set, and from there it was kills for days. Grissett, Senior Macie Swart, Sophomore Meena Juedes, and Freshman Marissa Beach were all able to chalk-up a kill or more. Alexander took the set 25-13. 

High school volleyball: Alexander Spartan sophomore Lila Moser stands in ready position for a serve receive
Spartan sophomore Lila Moser stands in ready position for a serve receive

If a team is down two sets going into the third, it’s common to see less intensity from their side of the court. For the Raiders, it was the complete opposite. They were collecting kills and aces throughout the first two sets, but they found themselves hitting a wall once they reach 14 points, unable to get over the point hump.  In the third, they were able to respond to the Spartans serve with more speed, resulting in more errors for Alexander. River Valley capitalized on these errors for the rest of the match and stayed neck and neck with the Spartans. Another reason for more errors than usual was Alexander’s line-up.  

“Tonight, we had a lot of girls out of position,” said head Coach Jaime Lutz. “Just trying out some different things we have going on. We played this game as like an ‘in the event this would happen’ we know we have someone ready for a back-up.” 

Lexi Grissett was out for some time during the third set, but she was subbed back in to help her team bring home the win. Alexander won the set 25-21.  

Both squads have a packed schedule next week. Alexander plays Warren on Tuesday, Eastern on Wednesday, and Athens on Thursday. River Valley plays four games, Southern on Monday, Vinton County on Tuesday, Oak Hill on Wednesday, and Nelsonville-York on Thursday.