COLUMBUS GROVE — When Kelly Lepley took over the Columbus Grove volleyball program this fall, she knew it had potential.
Now after notching its 11 consecutive victory by defeating Putnam County rival Ottoville, 25-22, 25-12 and 25-17, the first-year coach is seeing just how much potential her team has.
Lepley, who was an assistant coach at Bluffton University the previous two years, said she was fortunate to inherit such a strong program.
“I really didn’t get a whole lot of time to travel and see the girls play (while at Bluffton),” Lepley said. “But I knew they were talented and well-coached.”
In Monday’s win over Ottoville (4-4), Columbus Grove (11-0) displayed its strength up front as Mackenzie Vorst (5 feet-11 inches) and Casey Osterhage (6-0) supplied plenty of power near the net.
Vorst led Columbus Grove with 12 kills and nine blocks, while Osterhage added eight kills and four blocks.
Lepley said opposing teams find it difficult to get the ball past Vorst and Osterhage.
“We have our ‘Twin Towers,’” Lepley said. “They both do a great job for us up front.”
In the first game, the Big Green battled back, knotting the game four times, before Columbus Grove finally put the game away. Vorst recorded five of her kills in the first game.
Ottoville coach Susan Jones said her squad repeatedly hurt themselves in Monday’s loss.
“They definitely did not give up,” Jones said of her team. “But we were not hitting the ball well at times. …We made some bad serves. … We hit the ball back into the net too much. We just need to be able to put it all together.”
In the second game, the Bulldogs did not allow the Big Green to stay close. Columbus Grove recorded three aces and made four blocks up front to stave off any possible Ottoville rally.
In the final game, Osterhage took over, smacking down five kills and making three blocks to lead the Bulldogs.
For Ottoville, Natasha Kaufman had six kills, while teammate Samantha Modica knocked down five. Chelsea Ditto led the Big Green with 14 digs.
Jones applauded Ditto’s play at the libero position.
“I thought she did a really great job of playing out balls and keeping it alive for us,” Jones said.
Grove volleyball remains perfect