Ace Nation: Buckeyes take out the Redstreaks to start playoff campaign

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BUCHTEL, Ohio (WOUB)– To start their playoff campaign, the Nelsonville-York Buckeyes hosted the Piketon Redstreaks Thursday night. Nelsonville-York was looking to begin a deep playoff run while the Piketon Redstreaks were hoping to pull off the upset. Both teams played hard, but the Nelsonville-York attack was too much for the Redstreaks to dethrone the Buckeyes.  

The Buckeyes started the first set by making a statement, getting up 7-2 off the back of two Chloe Lehman aces. This forced the Redstreaks to take a timeout early which seemed to deflate Piketon’s confidence. The slow defensive start by the Redstreaks was taken advantage of by the Buckeyes when they continued getting hot in the middle of the set.  

Buckeye Kenzie VanBibber broke off a 5-point service run to go up 15-4 with a pair of aces in there. Following those two runs, the lead in the first set became too much for the Redstreaks to handle. Nelsonville-York would hold on, taking the set 25-11.  

High School Girls' Volleyball: Nelsonville-York Buckeyes celebrate in a huddle after a point victory. Photo Credit: [Jamey Spears | WOUB]
Buckeyes celebrate in a huddle after a point victory [Jamey Spears | WOUB]
After a disastrous first set, the Redstreaks came out of the gate more composed and aggressive to start the second set. Piketon took an early 6-4 lead including two Larkin Vulgamore kills. The excellent out of system play by the Redstreaks however would not be sustained as the Buckeyes found their groove. The two teams tied at 10 before Nelsonville-York went on another run to take the set 25-12. Chloe Lehman’s five kills in the set came to be crucial points to stop a potential Piketon comeback.  

The third set was more of the same as the Buckeyes would take the set 25-12. The deadly front row of Nelsonville-York was on full display, and they were able to set it all around the court. Among the most impressive performances was Kyleigh Warren’s with four impactful kills.  

“Our defense called out a lot of spots that were open,” Warren said post-game. “Overall, I think the defense was there for the offense to be able to put a ball down.”  

With the win, Nelsonville-York took home their fifth straight sectional championship. While an impressive achievement, the Buckeyes are more so looking passed that and preparing for their next game, considering whom they will be facing. Last year, North Adams shocked Nelsonville-York in the playoffs sending them home earlier than many expected. This lit a fire under the Buckeyes which Head Coach Wayne Dicken spoke on when discussing the possibility on facing them. 

“North Adams was the team that knocked us out a round earlier than maybe we should have been knocked out. And when our girls saw we had an opportunity against them they got really pumped up.” 

The Buckeyes will hope to avenge that loss against North Adams next Wednesday at Waverly High School. First serve is set for 6 p.m.