Girls Volleyball: Watterson beats Olentangy Orange to win first regional championship
The Watterson girls volleyball team lost the opening game but rallied to defeat sixth-ranked Olentangy Orange 17-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-21 in the Division I regional final Nov. 7 at Hilliard Darby.
It was the first regional championship for the Eagles, who improved to 17-6 and will play Parma Padua in a state semifinal Friday, Nov. 13 at Vandalia Butler. The winner will play Cleveland St. Joseph Academy or Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame in the final at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15.
“Honestly, it was our first time in the regional championship, and we knew the Orange players were going to bring their all because they have been here year after year,” said senior Sydney Taylor, who had 15 kills. “We took our love for each other, and we played for each other. I’m tearing up just watching them celebrate over there.”
Orange (21-4) cruised in the opening game, but Watterson quickly rallied to even the series.
“We are blessed to have players who have played at the highest levels (in club volleyball),” Watterson coach Stephanie Grieshop said. “The experience was there, the leadership was there and the love they had for each other really does help.”
The Pioneers jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the third game but Watterson chipped away for a two-point victory. The Eagles won the fourth game to clinch the match, which lasted 1 hour, 54 minutes.
“They have a couple great seniors and we got a little hesitant in the second set,” said Orange coach Katie Duy, whose team lost in a regional final for the third consecutive season. “We told them to go out and be aggressive, but we got a little tight and Watterson took advantage of it.”
Sophomore Ava Hoying had nine kills for the Eagles, and senior Gina Grden added eight kills and recorded her 200th career block.
Senior London Davis had 19 kills and two blocks for Orange, and juniors Molly Shamock and Olivia McAtee added eight kills apiece. Junior Hannah Borer had 36 assists and 21 digs, and senior Addie Evans had 30 digs.