DEFIANCE – Ottawa-Glandorf took a major step towards its third straight Western Buckeye League title after downing a determined Defiance squad 3 -1 Thursday night. The Titans won 29-27, 21-25, 25-18 and 25-17.
Backed by the pep band and a rowdy student section, Defiance, which had no league losses, came out pumped up ready to end Ottawa-Glandorf’s dominance in the Western Buckeye League.
However, the Titans, who won the key first set, fended off everything the Bulldogs threw at them, and even after losing the second set, rallied to win the final two games to secure the win.
Ottawa-Glandorf improved to 6-0 in the WBL and 16-1 overall. Defiance drops to 5-1 in the league and 10-3 overall.
“We knew Defiance was going to five us a fight tonight,” Titan head coach Amber Gerdeman said. “They have some really great players and a great group of seniors that can really perform for them. That had a great crowd and a great student section tonight.”
Gerderman credits her team for blocking out the raucous crowd.
“We talked to the girls about building walls around the court and focus on our side of the court and really just stayed focused and disciplined,” Gerderman said.
The first game was indicative how tight night was going to be as neither team wanted to drop the crucial first set. Defiance rode the play of Kaylee Brasher and Janelle Bryant while O-G relied on its wealth of talent in Taylor Alt, Maddie White and Claire Eiden.
But in the end it was the Titans who escaped with a 29-27 victory to gain the early advantage.
“It was huge,” Gerderman said. “Neither team was able to get on a big run and we called a timeout and the girls were able to regroup and got some points from the service line and pulled away.”
Most teams that face O-G usually have a let down after a close and exciting set, however, Defiance showed no signs of going away and rallied to claim the second set 25-21.
“In the second game we just weren’t being super smart offensively and kind of forced things,” Gerdeman said. “So we regrouped and refocused and did what we had to do in the final two games.”
But O-G showed why they are ranked No. 1 in the Division III Coaches poll by responding with a 25-18 win to regain the advantage.
With the momentum on their side starting the fourth game, the Titans opened up a 15-5 lead and appeared to be ready to wrap things up and avoid a fifth set. Behind the play of of Taylor Alt, Miya Ellerbrock, Erica Annesser and Maddie White and the serving of Nicole Gerten, who was effective all night, the Titans garnered the 25-17 victory.
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