The last two unbeaten SVC volleyball teams met Tuesday to conclude first-round play, with Unioto outlasting Southeastern 25-15, 25-16, 20-25, 25-21. The win gives the Shermans sole possession of first place at (7-0), while the Panthers are right behind them at (6-1).
Southeastern darted out to a commanding lead in Set 1 at 12-5, but Unioto finished on a 20-3 scoring run to take the set, 25-15. Many of those points were behind the tough serving of Madi Eberst.
Set 2 stayed close until the Shermans broke away from a 9-9 tie, closing on a 16-7 run for a 25-16 victory and a (2-0) Set lead.
In a must win third set, the Panthers came to life, rallying from their biggest deficit of 10-6, to gain the upper hand for their biggest lead at 21-16. Unioto fought back, closing the gap to 22-20 before the Panthers finished with a 25-20 win, making it (2-1) Unioto.
Set 4 was an early see-saw affair with both teams taking leads. With SE up 12-11, Unioto grabbed the lead at 14-12 and never trailed again, although the Panthers climbed to within 20-19. A close call on a diving dig attempt near the net by Southeastern was called a "lift", which was followed by two unanswered Shermans points for a 22-19 lead. One last time, the Panthers battled to within 22-21, before Unioto finished the set at 25-21, winning the match (3-1).
Unioto had three players in double figure kills. Jocie Fisher pounded 12, Hannah Hall and Amanda McGlone each had 11, Amber Cottrill with 9, Ashley Taylor 6 and Madi Eberst with 2. Another big "net gain" for Unioto was McGlone's 6 blocks. Eberst had 25 digs and 38 assists, Taylor 14 digs and Hallie Pinkerton added 13. Unioto had 10 team serving aces, with Amber Cottrill getting 4 and Eberst 3.
Southeastern's Jessica Bolte led the offense at the net with 14 kills, Skylar Hice had 10, Ella Skeens 8 and Rachel Collins with 3. Sierra Delong added 3 kills. Hice was the defensive leader with 20 digs, Delong 17, Ella Skeens 14, Lauren Goebel had 11 digs and 38 assists and Ally Skeens with 11 digs. The Panthers had 6 team serving aces, with Goebel serving 3.
Unioto travels to Southeastern on October 12th for the last regular season match of the season, where IF neither team gets upset, could find them playing for an SVC co-championship. Unioto's last SVC volleyball title was in 2014, where Southeastern hasn't won an conference volleyball crown since 1989.
Listen to our Herrnstein Hyundai SVC Volleyball replay of the Southeastern at Unioto match with Mike Smith and Tom Beard, on our podcast link below..