RICHMOND - The Edison seniors stole the show in the latest player and coach reunion.
Led by strong all-around performances by seniors Katelyn Pollock and Caitlin Brenstuhl the Edison volleyball team rolled to a 25-18, 25-20, 25-19, over Big Red Tuesday night at home on the Wildcats' Senior Night.
"It felt good to win," Edison (15-5) head coach Leah Eft said.
The Wildcats were able to sweep the season series from Big Red (12-8). Edison defeated Big Red in four games earlier in the season inside the Crimson Center.
"We are just not mentally tough," Big Red head coach Lynn Meyer said. "We get down by three or four points, and we are not mentally tough. Skill-wise, our coverage wasn't there. We didn't cover their tips. We played right with them, but we got down when we got down by a couple of points. We need to learn how to play the mental game I guess."
Eft played volleyball for Meyer during her time as a Wildcat.
"Ever since we made the changes against Oak Glen, things have gone up and up for these girls," Eft said. "When you make changes like that, there is always going to be growing pains, but they are really developing chemistry. They have come into their own, and they have developed chemistry. They have chemistry with the girl next to them and with setting the ball.
"Our back row defense showed a lot of promise tonight. That is something we have been struggling with.
"It was a team effort. It was a big test for them."
Pollock collected 10 kills, two blocks, four points, three aces, three digs and two assists; Cassady Jarvis recorded nine kills, three blocks, seven points, two aces, two digs and four assists; and Caitlin Brenstuhl tallied six kills, eight points, 29 assists, two digs and four aces.
Alexis Gill delivered nine points, two aces, seven kills and three blocks; Maddie Williamson added three kills, six points and one dig; and Kalee Neal ended up with eight points, one ace and 10 digs. Kayleigh Westbrook contributed two digs.
"It was great to get a good team win on Senior Night for these girls," Eft said. "They are a great group and should have been proud of themselves tonight. We still have some work to do for the tournaments, but these girls are up to the challenge."
For Big Red, Abby Taylor tallied three points, eight kills, seven assists, two blocks and three digs; Taylor Young ended up with nine points, three kills, 12 assists and three digs; and Brittany Bodo collected three points, one kill, two digs and one assist. Mytia Barker recorded four points, four kills and seven digs; Annie Nehrbas scored four points to go along with four kills and four blocks; and Carmie Biasi contributed two points and 12 digs. Lysaih Rice chipped in with six blocks.
"They have nice hitters," Meyer said about the Wildcats. "They have nice setters. They played a great game.
"Now, we have to get ready for Meadowbrook in the OVAC Tournament. They have big hitters. They play good defense."
Eft said Big Red did not do too much differently in the second meeting as compared to the first meeting in Steubenville.
"Not that I saw," she said. "They pushed it to the corner some. That was smart."
* The Wildcats have six seniors on the roster - Jackie Wiedaman, Williamson, Neal, Gill, Brenstuhl and Pollock.
The OVAC Tournament will be held Saturday at Big Red. Things get under way with the Class 3A tournament which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
The Class 4A Tournament is scheduled to start at 11:30 a.m. Top-seeded Oak Glen will face rival East Liverpool, the No. 4 seed, in the Crimson Center in one semifinal, while No. 2 seed Big Red will play No. 3 seed Meadowbrook inside the Joseph Stern Gymnasium. The winners will play for the tournament title inside the Crimson Center, while the two losers will play in the consolation final in Stern.
The Class 5A Tournament is slated to start at 2 p.m. Indian Creek, the No. 1 seed, will play No. 4 seed Parkersburg South in the Crimson Center, while No. 2 seed Edison will play No. 3 seed Morgantown in the Joseph Stern Gymnasium.
The two winners will play for the tournament title inside the Crimson Center, while the two losers will play in the consolation final in Stern.
Edison defeated Parkersburg South in three games, 25-16, 20-25, 25-22, to win the 5A title last season.
Madonna is the Class 1A top seed and will take on Morgantown Trinity at 4:30 p.m. The other semifinal pits St. John Central against Paden City. Toronto made the OVAC Final Four for the first time in school history and the No. 4 seed will meet Bridgeport at 7 p.m. in one Class 2A semifinal. The other has River against Clay-Battelle.