Fort Frye downs Shadyside, 3-1

Fort Frye’s Alissa Ginther (23) goes for a kill as Shadyside’s Mack Osman (9) defends during Division IV district semifinal volleyball action at John Glenn High Monday night. Fort Frye won 3-1. Photo by Ron Johnston.

NEW CONCORD — Fort Frye was like a locomotive, slow starting but fast finishing.

Sparked by a dominating front row and some solid serving, the fifth-seeded Cadets defeated fourth-seeded Shadyside, 3-1, in an Ohio Division IV East District Semifinal volleyball match at John Glenn Monday night.

“We didn’t start off as well as I would’ve like,” said FFHS coach Tiffany Schob, whose Cadets (13-7) won the first, third, and fourth sets, 27-25, 25-13, and 25-15. They lost the second set, 20-25. “But about the time we got our wheels going, we finished off pretty good. Coming up with a win is the only thing that matters at this point, and we were able to do that.”

Alissa Ginther led the Fort hitters with a match-high 20 kills and 2 1/2 blocks.

“Our front row’s pretty good,” the 6-foot senior spiker said. “We’re getting real consistent.”

Kasey Buchanan, a 6-foot junior, had a good all-around four games for the Cadets with 18 kills, 15 points, six blocks, four aces, three digs, and two assists. Jade Baker added eight kills and nine points, while Kelsey Adkins finished with five kills and five points.

“I thought my girls did a good job at the net, and that was huge for us tonight,” Schob said.

Fort setter Stephanie Camden was credited with 36 assists and 12 points. Libero Gabby Baker chipped in with six points.

“Fort Frye’s a very good team,” said Tiger coach Don Chamberlain. “I wish them luck against Shenandoah in the finals.”

Shadyside (17-6) was paced by hitters’ Riley Brown and Macy Coffland, who had eight kills apiece. Setter Jess Cicogna finished with a team-high 23 assists, while Mack Osman and Jillian Joseph recorded 17 and 15 digs, respectively.

Fort Frye claimed the first set by two points but lost the second by five.

“Anybody could’ve won that first set,” Chamberlain said. “If we’d won the first set and then we did win the second set, then the momentum changes.”

“It’s all confidence,” the Shadyside boss added. “When you lose your confidence, you lose your momentum.”

In the third set, Fort Frye went from a one point lead, 12-11, to a 23-11 advantage with an 11-0 run. The Tigers never really recovered from that surge. Then, in the final set, Buchanan became a force at the net, and the Cadets won going away.

“In Games 3 and 4, our servers were clutch for us,” Schob said. “We had some good runs there, and that makes all the difference in the world when you’re able to do that, string some points together.”

Said Chamberlain, “We just started running down. Volleyball’s a strange thing. Momentum. And in the last one, you could just see the way our girls had their hands on their hips and the looks on their faces. We just lost and couldn’t come back.”

Fort Frye is now slated to face top-seeded Shenandoah in a district final Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Meadowbrook in Byesville. During Pioneer Valley Conference play, the two schools split with each winning on the other’s home court.

“They’re not real tall,” said Ginther of the Zeps. “They just know how to hit the ball. It’ll be a good game.”

Added Schob, “I’m confident what my girls can do as long as we come and give 110 percent.”