The Olentangy girls volleyball team was staring at defeat until it ran off six straight points, overcoming three match points in a marathon five-set victory over Big Walnut in non-league play Tuesday night at Big Walnut Middle School in Sunbury.
“When we all believe in ourselves – we are an incredible team,” Olentangy coach Sarah Polhemus said. “When we start to doubt or things aren’t coming together as we planned – that’s when we start to see things fall apart for us.
“The one thing that definitely stayed throughout was that a couple of them believed as hard as we possibly could and then that started to catch fire toward the end. We were down 13-7 and had to fight like heck to get it back.”
Polhemus was referring to Olivia Margolies, who had a game-high 28 kills to lead Olentangy to a 25-21, 17-25, 25-23, 21-25, 16-14 win, teaming with sister Emily Margolies, who added 16 and 19 assists.
“We definitely have a twin bond there whenever she sets me,” Olivia said. “We have a great libero Madyson Chitty and our blockers did really great today, too.”
BW was machine-like at times, particularly in the second set when it ran off five straight kills by Kelsie Imertreijs, Mac Podraza and Kassie Bowmar. A Sammie Bickley ace broke a 9-9 tie on the way to a set victory.
Imertreijs and Kaley Rammelsberg had two kills apiece and Rammelsburg had a block to help the Eagles run off seven straight points to break a 7-7 tie in the fourth set.
“We’re not consistent yet,” BW coach Ron Lehman said. “We have the athletes, they’re capable of playing really well … we just need to be more consistent.”
But, BW ran amiss in the final set as five of Olentangy’s six points were scored on hit errors in the decisive run.
“We can’t panic, I guess,” Lehman said. “We played great up until the last (six) points when we kind of fell apart. I don’t know what happened. I thought it was a great match and I was really pleased with how we played. We should have won.”
Maddie Harris’ kill cut Olentangy’s deficit to 14-12 in the fifth.
“That brought a lot of energy to us,” Olivia Margolies said. “We just focused on the serve and didn’t let the ball drop to the floor.”
Chitty had 35 digs, Maggie Samijlenko had 26 assists, Margolies had two solo blocks and Abby O’Donnell assisted on nine blocks to lead Olentangy (4-1).
Rammelsberg had 16 kills, Imertreijs finished with 14, Podraza chipped in 13 and Caroline Speelman added 12 to lead BW (1-3), which has lost two straight and both in five sets.
Olentangy is right back at it today, hosting Grove City in non-league action at 6:45 p.m. BW resumes play Thursday at Marysville in non-league, which is scheduled for 7 p.m.