Oak Glen fends off Madonna

GOING UP — Madonna’s Andrea Alimario (9) and Michaela Battista go up to attempt to block a kill by Oak Glen’s Graci Tice during Thursday’s match at Madonna High School. (Photo by Andrew Grimm)

WEIRTON — The goal is to be ahead at the end — not at the beginning.

The Oak Glen volleyball team fell behind Madonna early in all three sets, but the Golden Bears regrouped and gained control in the middle of each set before pulling away en route to sweeping the Blue Dons, 25-17, 25-13 and 25-17, Thursday on Joanna Bernabei-McNamee Court inside the Bill Barett Gymnasium to remain undefeated on the season.

“We were able to come back,” Oak Glen head coach Ethel Riser said. “They were not hitting hard hit spikes at us. They were pushing the ball. There were a lot of shoves. They had some lucky balls that dropped onto the floor.

“We did not play our best game either. They will tell you that. This was not one of our better games.”

The Blue Dons (3-3) battled, but the Golden Bears (9-0) were too tough to tame.

“Oak Glen is always good,” Madonna head coach Pat Kush said. “They played well. We stuck with them. The middle of the sets is kind of where we lost control. The girls played hard. Oak Glen is a good team.

“When we are in sync, I think we can play with anybody. I think we showed that tonight.”

For Oak Glen, Hannah Rogers recorded one ace, 15 kills, one block and one dig, McKayla Goodlin collected one ace, six kills, one block and one dig and Jaedyn Hissam had 41 assists, three spikes and two kills.

Hannah Tice tallied 10 kills, three blocks and one dig and Alayna Kranis added eight kills.

“We had some good serves at times, but it was sporadic,” Riser said. “We would get a run with it. We would get some passes to keep the scoring going. We were able to score more points.

“In the first game, we had 14 bad hits. That is unheard of for us. We usually don’t have that many in three games. We had a little bit of sloppy play.”

Madonna held the lead in all three sets, but the Blue Dons could not keep the momentum going throughout the set.

“Playing teams like that will only makes us better,” Kush said. “We aren’t going to see another team like that. We hung with them. We just had a couple of bad streaks.”

The Blue Dons got 13 digs and one kill from Jaedyn Kush, 30 digs from Rachel Boniti, 17 digs from Maddie Daugherty and 12 digs from Anna Backel.

Andy Alimario contributed six blocks, two digs and three kills, Michaela Battista seven digs and an ace and Carly Dowial five blocks and three kills.

Oak Glen is scheduled to play again at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Philip Barbour Tournament.

“We will be playing Class AA schools,” Riser said. “We will see some of the better teams in our pool. We will play Bridgeport, East Fairmont and Frankfurt. Frankfurt has made it to the state tournament as a regional runner-up the last two years. Bridgeport has had some good teams in the past. I have not seen them yet this year. East Fairmont is not at that level, but you never know what could happen. We could have some sloppy play.”

Madonna is slated to play Magnolia at 6 p.m. Tuesday at home.

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