PIQUA — Sidney and Piqua’s volleyball matches the last two years were five-game marathons. The Yellow Jackets are hoping they changed the trend with Monday’s win, which was their first three-set victory over Piqua since at least 2004.
Sidney jumped out in front in the first game and largely cruised to a 25-16, 25-17, 25-18 Greater Western Ohio Conference win over the Indians at Garbry Gymnasium. The victory ended a four-match losing streak for the Yellow Jackets, which hadn’t won since sweeping a quad match on Aug. 18.
“Beating Piqua is awesome,” senior middle blocker Arielle Snider said. “We’re ready to start a win streak since we beat them. With all the fans here, it felt amazing.
“It was a great night. Everybody was here, nobody got tired, we were ready. We just wanted to dominate tonight.”
Piqua struggled defensively, as Snider and Sidney’s other players often found bare spots for easy kills. The Indians also oftentimes chased balls out-of-bounds while trying to return.
Sidney (4-4, 1-2 GWOC American North) had several serve errors and other miscues that helped the Indians stay close. Piqua, though, only led once the entire match.
After a hard-fought loss to Troy last Thursday and losses to Minster and Graham in a tri-match on Saturday, Sidney coach Lauren Morrow said she was proud with how the team came out and played with energy.
“We’re low on numbers this year and were a little banged up, so I think we had a hard time regrouping on Saturday,” Morrow said. “But the Piqua game means a lot to us, so they were ready to come out and play tonight.”
Snider terrorized Piqua at the net with 10 kills and three blocks. One of her kills came late in the third set on the longest rally of the night after Piqua had defended two previous attempts. She had back-to-back kills late in the game that pushed Sidney’s lead to 23-13.
“I was just ready to fire, ready to go, ready to end it right there,” Snider said.
Snider is the team’s kills leader so far this season. She has 64 after Tuesday’s win and also has a team-high 17 blocks.
“Arielle has put a lot of time into this,” Morrow said. “If she gets a hold of the ball, there’s not a lot of people that can stop her.”
With Faith Bockrath serving, Sidney jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first game. Snider had a kill that pushed the lead to 14-5, but Piqua cut Sidney’s lead down to 21-13. The Yellow Jackets scored four out of the last seven points, including a game-ending kill by Abby Nuss that went over the heads of two Piqua blockers.
Sidney jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the second game, but Piqua scored the next three points to tie it. The Yellow Jackets scored two straight points — including an ace by Nuss — to take 10-7 lead. They pulled out to a 23-14 lead, but Piqua scored four late points to narrow the margin.
Piqua took an early 3-1 lead in the third game, but Sidney scored the next seven points, including two aces by senior outside hitter Alina Kindle. Kindle is second on the team in kills (47).
“She’s a competitor,” Morrow said of Kindle. “She’ll get after it. She’s been a difference maker for us this season. She’s always got the determination to win.”
Sidney pushed its lead to 23-13 in the third game, but Piqua scored five of the next six to pull close. The Indians sent a ball into the net to give the Yellow Jackets the match point.
“Once we focused in and kind of regrouped, we were good,” Morrow said of Piqua’s late surge. “We’ve been pretty good at ending games this year, better than in the past. You never know with Piqua, though, since we’ve went five so many times in recent years. It was nice to come in and get the sweep.”
Nuss led the team with three aces, while Kindle, Payton Boshears, Allie Herrick and Bockrath each had two. Boshears had nine digs and Kindle, Nuss and Herrick each had five. Kindle had seven kills while Darien McBride had six.
Sidney has a week off before its next game. The Yellow Jackets will travel to Greenville next Tuesday for a GWOC American North Division game.