Olivia Riley, Contributor
WILLIAMSPORT — The Adena Warriors are back on top of the Scioto Valley Conference.
The Warriors (17-1, 12-1 SVC) swept the defending SVC champion Westfall Mustangs (12-3, 9-2 SVC) in the Dome on Tuesday by a 25-22, 25-18, 25-15 final.
The win secured Adena’s first league title since 2016 and the program’s 28th conference title since 1976.
“We were really close last year and it feels good to finally get a share of the title,” said Adena junior Jenna Martin. “We just need to keep up our momentum.”
Momentum was definitely a deciding factor in Tuesday’s game.
In the first set, Adena jumped to a 9-4 lead early on. But behind junior middle Marissa Mullins leading their offense, the Mustangs then rattled off five straight to tie the set at 9-9.
After a much-needed timeout, the Warriors leaped out of the huddle and raced to an 18-13 lead. They kept a steady margin after that, and took a 25-22 win behind Martin and fellow juniors Ellie Harper and Makenna Lovely.
The second started off close, but Adena bolted to a 16-10 advantage after a string of kills from Makaela Lovely. That was enough momentum to ride to a 25-18 win.
PHOTOS: Images from Adena’s SVC title-clinching win over Westfall
“We really kept our energy up,” said Harper. “Even if we were down, we came right back fast.”
With set three being a must-win for the Mustangs, the Warriors knew they had to come out strong. Adena’s defense stepped up its game and made some outstanding efforts. The Warriors kept a steady lead throughout the entire set, leading 11-5, 15-10, and 20-14 before going on to win the set 25-15 and securing the title-clinching sweep.
For Adena, Makenna Lovely led with 13 kills on the night. She was followed by Harper with nine kills and Martin with six. Martin also added five assisted blocks. Defensively, Makenna Lovely led with 13 digs and was followed by Camryn Carroll and senior Ari DaRif with 11 and 9, respectively. Adena’s lone senior, DaRif, also tallied 16 assists.
For the Mustangs, Mullins led the stat sheet with 12 kills and a whopping 21 digs. Senior Kristin Phillips added nine kills and a dig and Claire Latham tallied 28 assists on the night.
The Mustangs will travel to Zane Trace (15-5, 10-3 SVC) on Thursday to face the Pioneers, who are fresh off two wins against state-ranked teams. Westfall also has make-up league games against Piketon and Huntington with dates to be determined.
Meanwhile, the Warriors will host Huntington (14-6, 8-4 SVC) on Thursday evening for the last official match of SVC play. A win would secure an outright SVC title for the Warriors.
“We just need to work on our communication a bit more,” Martin said, regarding their match on Thursday. “We just need to keep our focus throughout the entire set.”