STEUBENVILLE – Conference and league rivals faced a spot in the regional finals on the line.
The fourth-seeded Indian Creek volleyball team faced fifth-seeded Beaver Local for the third time this season, and this matchup was the biggest of them all.
The Redskins won the first game, however, the Beavers fought back the next three en route to an 18-25, 25-16, 25-15, 26-24, victory in the Ohio Division II Eastern District Semifinal on Tuesday night. Big Red’s Crimson Center.
“Beaver played well, but we got off our game tonight,”‘ Indian Creek (15-8) head coach Crystal Hammack said.
The Beavers led 24-21 in the fourth game, however, the Redskins scored again at 24. Indian Creek looked to push the game to a fifth game and decide, however, Beaver Local collected the next two points to win the game and the match.
“It was a good game between two strong teams,” Beaver Local (14-8) head coach Sarah Lowe said. “It was a war.
“We played them twice during the regular season. We beat them five instead of them, then they came back and beat us three. I knew it was going to be a back-and-forth game.”
With the win, Beaver Local will play Dover in the regional final Saturday at a time and place to be announced. Dover defeated Indian Valley in five games to advance to the regional finals.
“We played Dover three times in the season,” Lowe said. “It was here. They beat us in 3. They won, 2-1, because it was a triple. I haven’t seen Indian Valley. We will wait to see who wins, and then we will start preparing for Saturday. “
The Redskins jumped out to a 14-6 lead in Game 1 before the Beavers fought back and closed to within 15-12. The Redskins were able to rally, and Lowe called a timeout with his team up 21-15. Indian Creek was able to keep the momentum on its side going into overtime, and the Redskins won the game by seven points to take a 1-0 lead in the game.
Things took a turn for the worse in the second game.
The winners took a 10-6 lead and forced Hammack into a timeout. They called a timeout with the score 17-11, and Beaver Local kept going as the Beavers won the game by nine points to tie the game at 1-1.
The third game started very close with the Beavers taking an 11-10 lead, however, they extended their lead to 14-10 forcing Hammack to call a timeout. Beaver Local extended its lead to 21-14 leading to Indian Creek’s finish, however, the Beavers could not be stopped as they won the game by 10 points to take a 2-1 lead in the game.
“I don’t know what happened,” Hammack said. “We didn’t play our game. We had a lot of unforced errors. We couldn’t get into a rhythm. “
Game four was close from start to finish.
Indian Creek took an 8-7 lead, but Beaver Local stormed back to take an 11-9 lead forcing the Redskins to call a timeout. The lead grew to 14-9, but this time the Redskins responded and pulled within 16-13 forcing Lowe to call timeout. The Beavers extended their lead to 19-13 before the locals fought back to pull within 22-21. Beaver Local scored the next two points to set up a couple of game points, however, Indian Creek was able to fight back and level the game.
“Throughout the season, we’ve been facing challenges,” Lowe said. “We have left teams to fight against us for a long time, and we have struggled to shut down teams. In the last two weeks – when things have slowed down – we have taken action. We tried to close teams out, and that helped us do that tonight. “
Individually for Indian Creek, Tori Robertson dished out one ace, 15 kills, one block and 11 digs, Reese Scott collected 22 assists, two kills and 14 digs and Kylie Anderson contributed seven kills, two blocks and 16 digs. Also, Camryn Kentron she had six kills and 10 digs, Allison McGraw recorded seven digs and Cara Vandeborne contributed another block.
“I moved our defense a little bit so we could show a different look in the game,” Hammack said. “We couldn’t give and take. It makes it difficult when you can’t give-and-take. We were a little nervous coming into the game. “
“Both teams fought in all four divisions,” Lowe said. “There weren’t many unforced errors. We had to earn our points. We made some mistakes, and they managed to spend money. “
Both teams won on the road during the regular season.
“There were a lot of similarities,” Lowe said. “We corrected our mistakes that did not force us. We killed a lot of people. Our defense did a better job of getting to the ball and allowing us to start making mistakes. “
For the Redskins, it was a disappointing end to a good season.
“We have a great group of kids,” Lowe said. “We did a great job since the team lost. All the girls love the game, and they’ve been playing great all year. These girls deserve a lot of credit.”
The Redskins are losing three seniors from this year’s team.
“We have three seniors, and they haven’t come down all season,” Hammack said. “They were our leaders. They were going home. They welcomed me back as a teacher when I left. I think the world of those girls. We will have big shoes to fill. I wish them all the best.”