OTTAWA— Sometimes a litte finesse can go a long way and Ottawa-Glandorf proved that in its 25-22, 26-28, 25-16 and 25-17 win against Celina, in a key hard fought Western Buckeye League clash Thursday night.
With the win the Titans remained unbeaten in the WBL with a 4-0 mark and improve to 10-2 overall. The Bulldogs suffer their first defeat In the league and fall to 3-1 in league paly and 7-5 for the season.
Ottawa-Glandorf head coach Ann Ellerbrock said there are some top notch teams in the WBL and Celina posed a worthy opponent.
“We anticipated a good game and they gave us more and everything we could ask for,” Ellerbrock said. “They are girls who can swing and they did not back down. It is a big win.”
Celina head coach Amy Sutter said she was proud of her team’s effort and said they made the Titans earn the win against them.
“If I have a message before or after any game is that we are not going to lose on our own mistakes and nobody should beat us by working harder than we do,” Sutter said. “I think we worked hard. I think we were making some really smart shots and I don’t think we were easy on them and it was a win they had to earn.”
Sutter added that is one of quickest teams that have faced this year.
“So far this is the type of speed that we haven’t seen except for maybe St. Henry,” Sutter said. “There are making us better too for the postseason.”
With a host of powerful hitters on both sides, the two teams engaged in the volleyball version of a slugfest as both teams blasted each other with powerful spikes backed up by excellent defense.
Celina stayed close in the first two contest and took the second one thanks to some excellent blocking up front to slow down the Titans. So instead of hitting into a Bulldog wall, the Titan front line hitters began to include more dinks and dunks into their repertoire and it was instrumental in Ottawa-Glandorf winning the final two sets.
Ellerbrock recognized that Celina was playing a rotational defense that took away the Titans line shot so she encouraged her players to look for other shots.
“We had to remind that `hey, you just can’t keep hitting that same shot because now they have a girl planted on the line’” so we tried some other finesse kind of shots, like tips along the net, and that seemed to opened it us for a little bit.”
Titan teammates Carly Alt and Taylor Alt combined for 32 kills and the team recorded 54 kills on the night. Kendra Kahle had 40 assists.
For Celina, Makenna Black recorded 10 kills and Hannah Rasawher notched 9 kills.
Ellerbrock said the Titans have been working on their blocking, something that has been a problem this year. However, Ottawa-Glandorf sustained Celina’s spikes with some excellent digs from the back rown.
“We been having to work on defense,” Ellerbrock said. “We miss some our middles from last year but again the girls are working hard and giving everything have and get better every week in practice.”
Kahle led the club with 35 digs and four other players recorded 10 or more digs on the night.
Ottawa-Glandorf will have little time to celebrate as the brace for games against Putnam County rival Ottoville, Shawnee.and the Crestview Invitational.
“We just hope we get better every game,” Ellerbrock said.
Despite the loss, Sutter was encouraged by her team’s performance and said they still need to work on quickness and begin more aggressive.
“We have be more aggressive and generate a few more scoring opportunities when we are scrambling,” Sutter said. “We have hit harder, harder than just getting the ball over.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468 or on twitter at @JoseNogueras1