ELIDA — New Washington Buckeye Central came into the Elida Division IV volleyball regional with an outstanding record of 24-1.
Thursday night the Buckettes showed why that record is for real as they knocked off Ada 24-26, 25-14, 25-16, and 25-16 at the Elida Fieldhouse in regional semifinal action.
The Buckettes flashed excellent hitting balance and were able to regroup after the first game loss and hold Bulldogs standout Melina Woods somewhat in check.
Woods finished her career with a 30 kills, 16 digs performance that was offset by the balance shown by Buckeye Central in the front line.
Senior Jenna Karl led the Buckettes with 18 kills while sophomore Lexi Evak totaled 16 kills and senior Emily Stump added 15 kills to give Buckeye Central a wide variety of options to pass the ball.
“We have a lot of go to people and that makes it nice.” Buckeye Central coach Jackie Nye said.
Ada fought its way all the way back from a 13-5 deficit in the first game to win 26-24.
But Ada, which bows at 19-5 on the season, was unable to generate any scoring runs as the Buckettes were able to hold the Bulldogs to one, two, or three points at a time in the next three games.
Buckeye Central became very aggressive with its service game after the first game setback and that, in addition to the balance in the front line, seemed to turn the tide in their favor.
The Buckettes had runs of five and six points in the second game, four, seven, and four points in the third game, and finally six and five point runs in the fourth game.
“Our serve receive game just wasn’t working tonight; we were unable to get the ball where we wanted to.” Ada coach Melissa Gossard said. “We gave it our all and came back in that first game but it’s tough having to play from behind. We’re upset right now but we set milestones for this program.”
Woods, who will be moving on to Division I Canisius College (Buffalo, N.Y.) next year, finished her career with a flourish and leaves as the all-time kills leader at Ada. Katie Newland finished the night with 15 digs and Maddie Gossard totaled 29 assists also for the Bulldogs.
New Washington will return to the Fieldhouse Saturday for the 2 p.m. title match between the winner of Carey and Toledo Christian.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.