ZANESVILLE — The OHSAA regional tournament is not the time to have issues with communication and struggle playing defense, but that’s exactly what the Jonathan Alder volleyball team had Wednesday during the Division II regional semifinal against New Concord John Glenn in a match played at Zanesville High School.
The Lady Pioneers (18-7) were able to overcome their miscues in the first game and won 25-19. But the mishits, service receive misplays and overall sloppiness proved to be too much as the Muskies won the next three games 25-12, 25-16, 25-22 and advanced to the regional championship where they will meet Columbus Bishop Hartley.
Alder appeared to be out of sync all night, but continued to give a maximum effort. But as the game wore on the frustration became more evident on the faces of a team that’s still relatively young.
“I’m proud of each and every one of these girls, they fought really hard,” Jonathan Alder coach TJ Read said. “Even if they may not have looked (fired up) on the outside, they were fighting and that’s all you can ask for.”
John Glenn coach Christie McGee said she and her coaching staff recognized the problems the Pioneers were having on the other side of the net and encouraged her players to just get the ball over the net and see what might happen.
“We watched and we knew if we could get the ball over one more time, we knew there was a likelihood that they were going to have some ball-handling errors,” McGee said. “If we could send the ball across one more time, keep the ball off floor and get it to the other side there was a chance they’d make a mistake.”
The Muskies got off to a fast start and won the second game with relative ease. That momentum continued throughout the third game. Alder couldn’t get into a groove and found itself down 2-1 heading into the fourth. The Pioneers however showed a lot more life in the fourth and took a lead that fluctuated between six and seven points.
John Glenn however didn’t concede, it fought back and found a way to finish the match before going to a fifth and deciding game.
“We’ve been in situations where we’ve been one set down, we’ve been in situations where we had seven-point deficits, we just know we have to stick with it and chip away,” McGee said.
As for the Alder coach, he said his team’s problems could be traced to one thing.
“We just needed to manage our errors better that’s what it comes down to,” Read said. “In game one we managed our errors, in game two and three we didn’t do it as was well as we should have, game four as well.”
The Pioneers got solid performances from a handful of players including Alexa Hasting (11 kills, 22 digs), Julie Jakse (28 digs), Sam Durbin (42 assists) and Corinne Parker (15 kills).
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.