Youth is served at Beaver volleyball

Morning Journal/Chris Rambo Beaver Local’s Elizabeth Kolkowski spikes over Indian Creek’s Sarah Mazzaferro and Taylor Jones during the Beavers’ win Monday.

CALCUTTA–With only two returning starters, Beaver Local coach Sarah Lowe is treating every match this season as an opportunity for growth.

With half of the Buckeye 8 Athletic League schedule now in the books, she is pleased with how things are taking shape.

“We’re a very young team this year,” Lowe said. “We only have two seniors and are relying on a number of underclassmen. Each game is a learning opportunity for us, and I think we’re coming together very well.”

The Beavers polished off another victory Monday, as they dispatched Buckeye 8 foe Indian Creek 25-13, 25-18, 25-19 at Beaver Local High School.

Beaver Local improves to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the Buckeye 8 North Division, solidifying its hold on first place halfway through the league schedule.

“Tonight was a really good team win,” Beaver Local sophomore Elizabeth Kolkowski said. “We always play as a team out there, that’s what’s allowed us to win all these games so far.”

The Beavers got key contributions from a number of sophomores Monday, with Brooke Talbot totaling nine kills and six assists, while Kodi Kinsey had seven aces and 10 digs. Kolkowski had four kills, three blocks and six digs.

Junior Karlee Furman handed out 16 assists.

“The biggest thing we’ve stressed has been consistency game-to-game, and I think we’re starting to get there,” Lowe said. “We’re playing together very well.”

Beaver Local was largely in control for most of the first two games. The Beavers surged in front 13-4 in the first game and established a quick six-point lead in the second.

The Redskins cranked up the intensity in the third game and led 12-8 at one point.. The Beavers re-collected themselves and began to chip away, eventually nosing in front 16-15. They had enough momentum to finish the job from there.

“Coach (Lowe) gave us a little pep talk and got us re-focused in the third game,” Kolkowski said. “I think you saw our communication start to pick up. That’s something we’ve been working a lot on.”

Cierrah Thurik led a tough Beaver Local defense with 13 digs. Furman added five kills, while sophomores Grace Hill and Bailey Bowersock each had four kills.

“I really liked our aggression at the net tonight and some of the digs we were able to come up with on the defensive side,” Lowe said.

The Beavers now turn their attention to rival East Liverpool, which visits Beaver Local on Thursday.

“We need to keep working hard and getting better with each match,” Lowe said.

Game notes

¯The Beavers’ match against East Liverpool will be a Volley for the Cure match.

“We will have freshman, jv and varsity matches here as well as middle school matches also going on,” Lowe said. “All the proceeds will go to a Beaver Local family fighting breast cancer.”

¯Senior Lauren Thomas, who suffered a stroke before last season, has been a fixture on the Beaver Local bench this year.

“She’s one of our senior captains, it’s been wonderful having her around,” Lowe said. “I know all of the players really enjoy having her here.”

¯Beaver Local won the jv match Monday 25-8, 25-17. Bailey Bowersock had nine aces, three kills and 10 points. Briar Wolski added four kills and six digs. Alannah Boyd rounded things out with four aces.