Warren Warriors down Yellowjackets in four sets

Williamstown's Skyler Chancellor (22) attempts a spike as Warren's Maggie Kemp, left, and Emily Ontko go up to block it during a high school volleyball match Thursday in Vincent. Photo by Jordan Holland.

VINCENT – Warren started off strong and, despite struggling to finish off visiting Williamstown Thursday in a Volley for the Cure match, came away with a four-set victory to improve to 11-6 overall this season.

Warren jumped out in front 2-0 in the match after 25-17 and 25-12 victories. The Yellowjackets (11-10-2), however, did not give up and rallied for a 26-24 victory in the third set. The fourth set was another nailbiter, with Williamstown holding a 24-22 lead, but Warren took the next four points for a 26-24 set and match victory.

“I think we got a good jump on them the first two sets,” said Warren head coach Michelle Tyo. “Then somehow we just started losing our momentum. Honestly the atmosphere just seemed kind of dead. We came out dead that third set and not playing our game with our intensity. After taking a couple timeouts and trying to light a fire within them, they came out and started playing their game.”

Hope Murdock (13 kills) and Emily Ontko (six kills, five blocks) were two of Warren’s top performers, but Tyo felt her whole team contributed.

“Hope is always a go-to with hitting,” Tyo said. “Ontko had a couple big blocks when we needed them. Both setters (Kate Liston and Victoria Lewis) did a good job tonight getting the ball on the net. We just struggled a little bit putting it down at times.”

Also standing was sophomore Abby Gilliand, who finished with three kills, two blocks and two aces.

“Abby has been really stepping it up,” Tyo said. “She is not afraid to swing. She’s done really well for me at the net.

Williamstown was a point away from getting swept, but a Kayla Bauman kill followed by Faith Hoosier’s block cut Warren’s lead to 2-1.

The ‘Jackets, led by Bethany Arnold’s 14 kills, kept fighting in the fourth set, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

“We talked in the huddle about trusting everybody and trusting in ourselves and what we worked on,” said Williamstown head coach Rachelle Cole. “We kept plugging along.”

Skyler Chancellor added nine kills for Williamstown and Bauman tallied eight. Skylar Watson totaled 13 points and 18 digs with Tori Tadlock pacing the ‘Jackets with 22 assists. Hoosier chipped in five kills and five blocks.

“The first game I thought we came out and played like we were ready to play,” Cole said. “It was really close. Then the second match didn’t go very well at all.”

Williamstown is back in action Saturday at Parkersburg South for the annual Fall Brawl.

“I think they did play really well as a team tonight.,” Cole said. “I still think we have room to grow.”

Warren plays again Saturday at Morgan, and will learn its postseason fate Sunday when the tournament draw takes place.