Bath downs Lima Senior in straight sets

LIMA — The Bath Wildkittens and Lima Senior Spartans opened the 2023 high school volleyball season Saturday morning at Lima Senior high school.

Neither team was able to pull away throughout the first set, a dozen ties and lead changes filled the first 30 points. The Spartans were able to build a 13-10 advantage, their biggest lead of the opening set before Bath began to scratch and claw its way to a lead for good at 16-15. The Wildkittens took set one 25-19.

“I was very pleased with our focus in the beginning,” Lima Senior head coach John Zell said. “We worked hard on our first touches, and they executed on the service receives.”

“The first set was a big one, it was going to establish how the match went.” Bath head coach Michael Lawrence said. “We were able to establish the momentum early.”

The second set was like the first as each team battled back and forth point for point before Bath began to pull away once again thanks to a five-point rally to put the Wildkittens in front 17-12.

The Wildkittens’ Claire Foust, who finished with five aces and seven blocks, continued to dominate with blocks at the net and three consecutive ace serves, forcing Lima Senior into a second timeout. Bath claimed set two 25-16

“Claire (Foust) always makes big plays for us. We had a conversation before the game that if she wants to dominate, she can. There were so many times where you could see that she was everywhere, she was disciplined and played great.” Lawrence said.

Bath kept their foot on the gas pedal into the third and final set of the afternoon to down the Lady Spartans. Bath pulled away early, building an 8-0 lead before the Spartans got on the board. Lima Senior battled to erase the large deficit, getting as close as 19-16 before Bath finished the match in straight sets taking the final set 25-16.

“We are young, we had no seniors on the floor,” Zell said. “To see our girls battle and come back in the third set means a lot. It shows that they are getting it and we just need to polish up some things as we move forward.”

Bath returns to action Monday night at home against Delphos Jefferson. Lima Senior travels to Spencerville for a non-conference match.

“There is a new sense of belief within our girls that we can compete at a higher level than what we had in the past. We have a long way to go, and we need to build on this, but we are excited heading into Mondays game 1-0.” Lawrence said.

Claire Armentrout had 18 digs and seven kills, Madi Ripley had five aces and Vanessa Ruble finished with 14 assists for Bath.