OTTAWA — Not this time. Not this year.
Last season, Ottawa-Glandorf upended Wapakoneta in a five-set thriller but this year the Redskins came up victorious in another nail-biting five setter, 14-25, 25-19, 25-23, 26-28 and 15-12 in the Western Buckeye League opener for both teams Thursday.
“I think last year stuck with these girls for a long time and it was the one that got away and it was close and went down to the wire,” Wapakoneta head coach Megan Brown said. “It was a game we could of won so to come back this year and play the way we did isn’t easy for them and I am proud of the way they played.”
“Last year was the craziest game I have been a part of and this year wasn’t much different with a five set thriller,” Titan head coach Amber Miller said.
Wapakoneta improves to 4-0 and 1-0 in league play. O-G falls to 3-2 on the season and 0-1 in league play. This is the first time the Redskins won the matchup in nearly two decades.
“I know this dates back to when I was in high school (the losing streak),” Brown said. “It has been a long time. I am so proud of these girls. It was a hard fought battle all night. O-G is a great team. They have a lot of weapon offensively and so it was kind of a battle of the kills tonight and I am just super proud of them they fought to the end and really had a lot of grit and it came down to the wire.”
Ottawa-Glandorf came into this game short-handed with four players out with injury but the younger Titans stepped up to take this game to the limit.
“Our underclassmen really stepped it up tonight,” Miller said. “Kaitlyn (Kimmel) came in and really stepped it up and she really came alive in the last couple of sets and got us a lot of points there and she worked really hard. We are really young and I just keep reminding them we have a lot of growth to do this year and that’s okay and we are going to stay positive. Wapakoneta is a great team and we can learn a lot from the game.”
On the night, Titan Kimmel had 10 kills on the night including seven in game four that helped the Titans force a game five. Freshman Sienna Fry notched 13 kills.
Redskin Kaleigh Palmer, who celebrated her 1,000 career kill, recorded 29 kills on the night and continually kept the Redskins close throughout the night. In the deciding fifth game she recorded five kills.
“Kaleigh Palmer is a fantastic player,” Brown said. “She got her 1,000 kill and there is still a lot of season left so for her to get that is an amazing milestone and we are incredibly proud of her and we are excited for tonight.”
Brown added that Palmer had plenty of support from her teammates.
“She had plenty of help,” Brown said. “We had offensive weapons in the front row and Emily VanHorn had a great game tonight. Defensively we were picking up a lot of kills and in order to have kills you have to have a good defense behind you and tonight we had that.”