Deja vu: Waterford tops Fort Frye

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Waterford’s Megan Ball (18) tips the ball as Fort Frye’s Alissa Ginther (30) tries to block it during a high school volleyball match Tuesday in Beverly. Waterford won in five sets.

BEVERLY — Waterford High was staring at defeat in the fifth and final set but got a break on a tipped ball.

Capitalizing on their good fortune, the 11th-ranked Wildcats then proceeded to rally and beat host Fort Frye, 16-14, to claim the game and the match, 3-2, in “Dig for a Cure” volleyball action at Cadet Gymnasium Wednesday night.

“I call them the ‘comeback kids,'” said first-year WHS varsity volleyball coach Kim Barker, whose green and white netters downed the Fort, 23-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-15, and 16-14.

“We came into that final timeout, and I told them, especially our seniors, that this was our last chance to beat Fort Frye in a clean sweep in their senior year,” Barker added. “And who wanted it more. This is a team that’s so impactful and they stay together — and they push through.”

Waterford (20-1) was led by Megan Ball and Alli Kern, who recorded 18 and 14 kills, respectively. Ball also had eight blocks, while Kern had four.

“Our hitters did play very well,” Barker said. “There was a point when I looked at Jordan (Taylor) and told her that she needed to set Megan and Alli any chance she got.

Alli really came out tonight and was finding holes, being aggressive.”

Waterford’s Ana-Sophia Beardsley also finished with eight blocks; and setters’ Jordan Taylor and Allex Teters were credited with 20 and 15 assists, respectively.

Libero Hannah Duff led the Cats with 12 digs, and her sister Hayley Duff added 10.

Fort Frye fell to 10-7 overall. Earlier this season, the Cadets also dropped a 3-2 decision at Waterford.

“It’s a rivalry game, so it’s emotional,” said FFHS boss Tiffany Schob. “It seems like it always comes down Game 5, and wouldn’t you know it, it was another tight game tonight.

“Waterford’s a good team. They are ranked in the polls in Ohio. They have some monster hitters.”

Fort was paced by Kasey Buchanan and Alissa Ginther, who had 15 and 13 kills, respectively. Jade Baker added eight, and Kelsey Adkins chipped in with five. Setter Stephanie Camden finished with a match-high 31 assists.

Buchanan also had 15 points and 5-1/2 blocks. Gabby Baker led the team with six digs.

“I thought we did a lot of good things at the net,” Schob said. “Our passes were good. We were just missing a little bit of a spark tonight.”

After dropping the first set by two points, Waterford came back to win the second one by four points. Fort Frye regained the lead, 2-1, with a five-point win in the third.

“Fort Frye is a team that’s very competitive, no matter what,” Barker said. “And we know that once we kind of get them down that they’re always going to come back.”

During the first three games, no team had a lead larger than five points.

But that all changed in the fourth set when the Wildcats had a 12-point advantage at one time, and eventually won by 10 points.

In the final set, the Cadets jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but the Wildcats came roaring back to tie it.

With FFHS senior Gabby Baker serving, Fort took a 14-10 lead and was one point away from winning the match.

Ball, though, had other ideas when she slammed a vicious hit that went out of play. The ball, however, was ruled tipped by a Fort Frye girl at the net, so the Wildcats were still alive.

The Cadets never scored after that, and the Cats had a 6-0 run to win it.

“They (refs) ended up calling a touch on that (tip), and that’s really hard to accept when you almost walk off the court with a win then the call is called back,” Schob said. “And, now we have to go back and buckle down again. But we’ve got to find a way to finish that game. There’s no other way to say it.”