Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.
KINNIKINNICK — No matter how you look at it, the Adena Warriors made a statement on Thursday.
Following a five-set victory over Unioto on Tuesday, Adena traveled to Zane Trace and seized a four-set triumph to stay perfect just 48 hours later.
And, after the win over the Pioneers — a 25-19, 25-22, 20-25, 25-19 final — one thing remains true: the road to a Scioto Valley Conference title indeed still runs through Frankfort.
“We had a little bit of a different strategy from the service line tonight and I think that works better for all of the kids mentally,” Adena coach Laura Smith said. “I’m really pleased with their efforts. It’s coming along. They’re starting to trust each other a little bit more and that’s good to see.”
The usual suspects led the charge for Adena in seniors Sydney Foglesong, who was unstoppable all night long, and Hannah Burns, who posed problems of her own.
Foglesong and Burns combined for 33 kills. However, it was some of their younger teammates — including Grace Townsend, Brinlee Preston and Eva Kruger — who provided the extra boost when the duo needed it.
“We’ve been working hard and they’re getting to the point where they’re trusting me a little bit more and listening to me,” Smith said. “I don’t get so many of these looks like, ‘What are you talking about?’ But it’s fun coaching this group. I believe I coached six of their mothers.”
Tale of the tape
With Brooke Bossert at the service line, Adena (8-0, 4-0 SVC) quickly took a 6-0 lead to begin the first set. That six-point advantage was still intact at 11-5 until Zane Trace used a trio of attacks from senior Lexi Scott to close the gap to 11-8.
But the Warriors got back on track with a 7-2 run to go ahead 18-10 before, eventually, holding off a late ZT rally for a match-opening 25-19 victory.
The Pioneers (7-2, 3-1 SVC) took their first lead of the night at 4-3 in the second and finished a 4-0 run for a 5-3 edge early on. But Adena battled back to go ahead 9-8 before eventually going ahead 16-13 after a kill from Preston.
That’s when Alexis Farley helped Zane Trace fine-tune a 6-0 run to take a late 19-16 lead and force the Warriors into a timeout. After the break in the action, Townsend tied the score at 20-20 with a kill before Foglesong and company ripped off a 5-2 run to end things at 25-22.
That loss could’ve taken the wind out of the Pioneers’ sails. But they chose otherwise.
After taking a 5-4 lead, ZT finished an early 5-0 run to go ahead 8-4. Foglesong and Burns led the Warriors back to force a 13-13 tie but that’s when Kendra Detillion and Mykah Hettinger helped the Pioneers rip off a 9-1 run to take control and finish a 25-20 victory.
“I told the kids to just keep their focus and to just keep doing what they were doing,” Smith said. “There were a couple of things we needed to tweak a little bit, but it was just about keeping momentum going into the fourth set.”
While Adena’s match lead had been cut in half, their confidence hadn’t been affected.
The Warriors never trailed in the fourth set, taking leads of 8-3, 15-10 and 22-14 en route to a match-clinching 25-19 win to take sole possession of first place in the SVC.
Foglesong led the Warriors with 20 kills and four blocks while Burns added 13 kills and 22 digs. Townsend added six aces, four kills, 12 digs and 36 assists while Preston totaled five kills. Bossert also lent a helping hand with three aces and a team-high 25 digs while Kruger and Brenna McQuiniff tallied 15 and 12 digs, respectively.
For the Pioneers, Scott led the way with a match-leading 24 kills alongside 22 digs and four blocks. Farley, Detillion and Laynie Scott also helped out with six kills each while Farley and Scott each had four blocks. Kinley May totaled 30 assists and 13 digs and Gracey McCullough finished with a match-high 38 digs.
What’s on tap
After playing 15 sets — and winning 12 of those — in six days, Adena has the weekend off before getting back to action on Tuesday at Westfall. Meanwhile, Zane Trace will play Saturday in a tri-match against Western Brown and Hillsboro.
“I like this atmosphere. Kids need to get used to [playing on the road] and learn how to keep their focus through all of that. Some of them thrive on that,” Smith said. “I don’t like to make the girls nervous coming in. They just kind of know what to expect. And our seniors are doing a great job taking care of those things. They kind of step up and I just step back. They need to hear it from each other, not just me all the time.”