Pioneers sweep away Patriots

Principal Strickland might have told Marty McFly he lacked discipline in Back to the Future.

But, Olentangy Orange girls volleyball coach Katie Duy wasn’t saying that about her team … not after Tuesday night’s straight-set victory over visiting Olentangy Liberty to opened OCC-Buckeye play.

The Pioneers used a 17-5 start in the opening set to boost them to a 25-15, 25-19, 25-23 victory in Lewis Center, handing rival Liberty its first loss of the season.

“Last year we split with Liberty and this year, our goal was to go 2-0,” junior Sidney Gossard said. “We’ve been working really hard at being the most disciplined team and staying disciplined the whole time in practice, and that carried over a lot to the game.”

Sophie Dahn opened with an ace and Megan McCollum added two more in Orange’s 10-2 start before extending the lead as high as 12 on its way to a lopsided first-set victory.

The Pioneers finished with 7 aces as a team, led by Carrigan O’Reilly with 3 and Dahn and McCollum, who each had 2.

“I think, obviously in a rivalry game, there’s a lot of emotion,” Duy said. “I just told them to be the more even-keeled team.”

London Davis led with 11 kills, Gossard had 7 and Madison Moll added 6. O’Reilly had 29 assists and 3 blocks, McCollum had 19 digs and Dahn finished with 14 to lead Orange (5-1, 1-0).

“I think all of our hitters did the little things well,” Duy said. “The one thing I said at the beginning of the game is if everybody does their jobs in the little things, then the more disciplined team is going to win the game. And they tried their hardest to be the more disciplined team.”

Liberty grabbed leads early in each of the next two sets, including a 9-4 lead to start the third frame. But, Orange had a response each time.

“When we were passing well and able to run our middle, I didn’t feel like they were able to keep up with our pace,” Patriots coach Jen Chapman said.

“A lot of our passes, I felt, did not allow us to run our middle,” she added “So, we became more of an outside-dependent (team). I think we struggled a little bit trying to get kills when it was just those hitters that had to produce.”

Claranne Fechter had 8 kills and 10 digs, Cameryn Dyer had 10 digs, Maddie Fogg had 28 assists and Abby Erickson had 6 blocks to go with 7 kills to lead the Patriots.

Grace Clark had 6 kills and Taylor Karlo added 5 for Liberty (6-1, 0-1).

“I give (Orange) credit – they played hard here at home, which I knew they were going to (do),” Chapman said. “I don’t think we started off real strong and we just had to crawl our way back every time.”

Next, both teams continue league play Thursday at 7 p.m. Liberty hosts Westerville South while Orange visits Westerville Central.

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Orange’s Sidney Gossard (5) hammers the ball past Liberty’s Claranne Fechter (1) during Tuesday’s OCC showdown in Lewis Center. The Pioneers won in three sets.’s Sidney Gossard (5) hammers the ball past Liberty’s Claranne Fechter (1) during Tuesday’s OCC showdown in Lewis Center. The Pioneers won in three sets. Ben Stroup | Gazette

By Michael Rich

For the Gazette

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at [email protected]