EAST LIVERPOOL - The Potters completed the sweep against the Panthers.
The East Liverpool volleyball team used big runs in all three games en route to a 25-23, 25-15, 25-8 victory over Buckeye Local at Potter Fieldhouse.
The Potters also won the freshmen and JV matches to record the sweep over the visitors from Jefferson County.
Buckeye Local’s Becca Rector hits the ball over the net as East Liverpool’s Mary Davis (left) and Kiara Cowart go for the block Thursday night at Potter Fieldhouse. Also pictured are East Liverpool’s Taylor Ward (5) and Morgan Campbell. (Photo courtesy Jimmy Joe Savage)
Last year, East Liverpool won all five matches down at Buckeye Local as the Potters recorded victories in the 7th grade, 8th grade, freshmen, JV and varsity matches.
With Thursday's win, the Potters are now 7-5 on the season. With the loss, the Panthers drop to 6-6.
"It was good to get back," East Liverpool head coach Bob Shansky said. "Last night was a bad night. We didn't play well. We were without Taylar Jordan, and the kids didn't step up.
"Tonight, we were without two starters, but we had some kids step up.
"This was a big win for us. They had the same record as us coming in. It was a big OVAC game. It was big for OVAC points. I'm happy that we were able to get the win."
East Liverpool built double digit leads in each of the three games, but Buckeye Local did not go away. In the end, the Potters were able to right the ship en route to the sweep.
"We by far didn't play our cleanest game," Buckeye Local head coach Shelby Luther said. "This was a very-important game for us. East Liverpool was second in the OVAC, and we were fourth. We just didn't play well. We can play much, much better than we did tonight."
Individually for the Potters, Madison white tallied a match-high 22 points to lead the way.
Also, Jordyn Adkins delivered 11 points and 38 assists, Morgan Campbell collected 47 spikes and 23 kills and Kiara Cowart contributed eight kills.
Finally, Caitlyn Davis chipped in with 14 spikes and six kills, and Taylor Ward recorded 18 spikes and five kills.
Becca Rector recorded eight points, one ace, six kills, seven assist and one dig to lead the way for the Panthers.
Also, Morgan Fedorko delivered four points, one ace, three kills and one dig, Morgan Staten netted two points, four kills, two assists and three digs and Kayla Fillipovich chipped in with three points, four kills and one dig.
Next, Amy Balk added two points, one kill and one dig, Lexus Fedorko contributed five assists and two digs and Kaylee DeCesare tallied two assists and three digs.
Finally, Kierstyn Czuchran collected three kills and two assists, and Preslie Renforth finished with three digs.
In the first game, the Panthers built an early 5-1 lead, but the Potters stormed back to take a 17-6 lead. Buckeye Local did not fold despite the 11-point deficit, and the Panthers scratched and clawed their way back into the game.
The Panthers battled all the way back to tie the score at 21, and the score was one again tied at 22. East Liverpool scored the next two points to go up 24-22. A point by Buckeye Local made it 24-23, but the Potters were able to score the final point of the game to come away with the win.
"I have to give my girls credit," Luther said. "We faced a 17-6 deficit in the first game, and our girls fought back to tie it. I have to give them credit. They have a ton of heart. They love to play the game.
"This was a tough loss. Our team goal this year is to make it to the OVAC's."
In the second game, the hosts built a 19-9 advantage before the visitors once again battled their way back into the match. The Potters respond to the run by the Panthers, and East Liverpool pulled away from the 10-point win to go up 2-0 in the match.
East Liverpool jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the third game. Then, the Potters extended their lead to 23-6. Buckeye Local scored a couple late points, but it was not enough as East Liverpool won the game by 17 points to sweep the match.
The match was East Liverpool's fourth in three days. Tuesday, East Liverpool hosted a tri between Oak Glen and Weir. Wednesday, East Liverpool played at home against Poland.
The Golden Bears and Bulldogs recorded wins over the Potters, while the Potters picked up a win over the Red Riders.
"What was tough is we didn't have all of our kids," Shansky said. "We lost Taylar, and then Jordan Chupa came down with an illness.
"It's tough because a lot of these kids haven't played together before. It took them some time to get used to playing together.
"Eventually, they got the ball to the hot hand. Morgan Campbell was hot tonight. Kiara Cowart played well. All of the kids played well. It just took them some time to get used to playing with different kids."
East Liverpool won the JV Match, 21-25, 25-20, 25-22.
Individually for the Potters, Sierra Voorhees recorded 14 points, five aces and 10 assists, Sierra Nichols scored seven points to go along with four kills and Kylie Kreefer contributed seven points.
Also, Elise Smith tallied three kills.
The Potters won the freshmen match, 25-21, 25-23.
For East Liverpool, Kinsey Woodyard delivered eight points, and Cori Webb and Taylor Johnston each tallied five points
Both teams are scheduled to return to the court Monday.
East Liverpool is scheduled to play at home in a tri-match against John Marshall and Youngstown Ursuline. The tri is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.
The Panthers are also scheduled to be at home as Buckeye Local will take on Buckeye 8 rival Bellaire in another important match for the Panthers.