Lady Dragons fall to Fayetteville

This Fayetteville return drops between West Union’s Molly Purcell, left, and Madison Taylor, right, in action from Tuesday night’s SHAC match at WUHS. The visting Lady Rockets defeated the Lady Dragons in three sets. (Photo by Mark Carpenter)

Visiting Lady Rockets win in three – 

By Mark Carpenter – 

There was no doubt coming into the 2018 season that the rebuilding process for the West Union Lady Dragons varsity volleyball program would be an uphill climb. Coming off a year where there was no varsity squad, first-year head coach Kristin Regenstein inherited a young program, loaded with freshmen, and thus far the season has been a tough one. On Tuesday, Aug. 28, the Lady Dragons were on their home court, hosting the Fayetteville Lady Rockets in Southern Hills Athletic Conference action, and looking for their first win of the year after three consecutive losses.
The West Union squad is short on upperclassmen, and on Tuesday night, they were one shorter as senior Alex Clark was sidelined by injury. The more experienced Lady Rockets took advantage in their trip to Adams County, picking up the SHAC win in straight sets, 25-14, 25-12, 25-7.
The Lady Dragons actually had the lead in all three sets, but were just not able to maintain any momentum, mainly because of their inability to return the Fayetteville serve as the Lady Rockets fired off 13 service aces in the match. It was West Union’s Madison Taylor who began the first set with three service points, but that lead evaporated quickly when Fayetteville’s Alisa Stahl stepped back to serve and reeled off eight in a row, giving her team a 9-3 advantage.
A point off serve from Lexie Rowe pulled the home team back to within 9-5 but a kill by middle hitter Taylor Malone pushed the visitors’ margin out to 12-5. A later service ace by Kiersten Rowe cut the Fayetteville lead to 14-9, but the Lady Dragons could get no closer. The Lady Rockets scored eight of 10 points in one stretch and finished off the first set with a 25-14 victory.

West Union’s Kiersten Rowe (22) makes a play at the net during the Lady Dragons’ three-set loss the Fayetteville on Tuesday night. (Photo by Mark Carpenter)

West Union took a 3-1 lead in the second set, but again the Lady Rockets answered behind the serves of Brinli Crosley to jump in front, 6-3. Just one side out later, Hannah Wiederhold’s serves helped Fayetteville score seven straight for a 13-4 advantage. The home team battled but too many unforced errors kept the Lady Rockets firmly in the driver’s seat, as they
stretched their lead out to 20-8, and then cruised to a 25-12 win in the second set.
An ace by Taylor was the first point of the third set, to the home team, but for the third consecutive time, the Lady Rockets went on a big run, getting seven straight and then five straight to lead 12-2. The Lady Dragons got an ace from Sophie Johnson, but then saw their guests reel off 10 of the next 11 points to put West Union in a 22-5 hole. A Taylor kill kept the home team alive but a kill by Malone and an ace by Wiederhold slammed the door on the set and the match as the Lady Rockets took the third set 25-7 and the match three sets to none.
For the Lady Dragons, the search for the first win gets no easier as they face a tough string of SHAC matches, beginning with an Aug. 30 home tilt with county rival North Adams. On Sept. 4, they will host the Eastern Lady Warriors in conference play, then host Ripley on Sept. 6, a rematch of an Aug. 24 match which the Lady Jays took in four sets.