It was the first all-county Southern Hills Athletic Conference volleyball match up of the 2014 season on Tuesday night, Aug. 26, as the North Adams Lady Devils invaded the home court of the West Union Lady Dragons. The Lady Devils came in at full force while the Lady Dragons were playing short-handed with only six available varsity players. According to WU coach Deb McClanahan, the trio of Casey Mueller, Madison Hall, and Brittany Caldwell were all unavailable because of injury.
Nevertheless, the match went on as scheduled and the underdog Lady Dragons certainly held their own in the first set, grabbing an early 6-2 lead on the service expertise of senior Taylor Martin. The Lady Devils rallied back to take their first lead of the set at 10-9 on a Charlee Louden kill and the two teams swapped points back and forth until the set was all even at 21 apiece. A kill by Rylee Copas gave North Adams the advantage and they rode that momentum to the game’s final three points, getting kills from Copas and Staci Dinsmore to finish off the set with a 25-21 victory.
The Lady Dragons seemed to lose some of their edge after that tough first set defeat and the visiting Lady Devils quickly took advantage, jumping to an 11-2 lead in the second set after five consecutive service points from Allyson Campton. North Adams continued to roll with a Dinsmore kill making it 14-5 and a later service point from Kayla Baker increasing the lead to 16-6. West Union began a mini-comeback late in the set but the Lady Devils recovered with a pair of service points from Maddie Toole and then took the set on a West Union service error, 25-13.
Sniffing blood now with a two sets to none advantage, the Lady Devils went right for the jugular and began the third set on another tear. North Adams scored eight of the first nine points of the third set, getting nice service runs from Baker and Louden. When West Union closed the gap to 10-5, Campton again went to the service line and rattled off eight in a row, including three aces, and the outcome of the match had become pretty evident.
With North Adams up in the third set 19-7, Copas moved back to serve and finished off the match with six points in succession as the Lady Devils took the third set and the match with a convincing 25-7 win.
“We started off slower than I would have liked,” said North Adams head coach Katie Ragan. “Toward the end of the first set, we picked our play up and then played a very good second and third sets.”
For the Lady Devils, senior Rylee Copas had 13 kills and 11 digs, while assist master Kayla Baker dished out 23 in the match. Madison Jenkins added 6 kills, 6 blocks, and a pair of aces.
Both teams will be back on the court next week with the Lady Dragons (0-3) hosting Eastern on Sept. 2, Ripley Sept. 4, and Peebles on Sept. 5. North Adams (2-1) will be at Manchester on Sept. 4 and host Portsmouth Notre Dame on Sept. 6.