ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Classic matches between the Potters and the Beavers is nothing new, but Monday night's match may have been one of the best in the two teams' storied rivalry.
The East Liverpool volleyball team won the final two games of the match to rally from two one-game deficits to defeat Beaver Local, 21-25, 25-14, 14-25, 25-22, 15-8 in Div. II sectional opener action on John Jenkins Court at St. Clairsville High School.
"When we play Beaver Local is the backyard brawl," East Liverpool coach Bob Shansky said. "In the first game, our girls gave a valiant effort. We won the second game. They won the third game.
"We won the fourth game. We were down 21-19. I told the girls they needed to keep their heads up and that we needed to play mistake free for the next six points, and that is exactly what they did. Then, we went to win the fifth game."
Beaver Local (coach Sarah Lowe said it was a great match.
"Absolutely," she said. "You always hate for the season to end, but to have a match like that against your rival, it makes ending your season a little easier."
Individually for the Potters (13-10), Sierra Voorhees scored 14 points to go along with 68 sets and 14 assists, Madison White tallied 70 sets and 14 assists and Kiara Cowart contributed 27 spikes and 12 kills.
Also, Paige Craig collected 17 points.
For Beaver Local (8-14), Sierra Wright had 14 points, eight kills, seven assists and nine digs. Danna Talbott had seven points, 11 kills and 28 digs, whileConnor McKenzie had 13 assists. Tanner Dolhun was sharp in the attack with 14 kills. Ashton Roberts chipped in 10 points and five aces, while Lynsey Recknet had 14 assists, nine points and 18 digs.
"All year long our problem has been serving consistency," Shansky said. "Tonight, we were able to serve consistency. That made a big difference. We were missing five or six serves not in a match, but in a single game. Our serving made the difference.
"We were lucky. We passed well.
"I don't if I have had a team that talked as much they did. They talked a lot. They wanted it, and we were able to do it."
Beaver Local had the momentum after the third game, but the Beavers couldn't put the Potters away.
Based on the history between the two teams, everyone expected a hard-fought match that would come down to the end, and that is exactly what they got to see. Lowe said it is always a great match when the two teams get together on the court.
"Absolutely," she said. "Coach Shansky and I were talking, and we both said it is always a battle when we play. It seems like a lot of the matches go five games. Both teams played extremely well and with a lot of heart."
With the win, East Liverpool will now play Meadowbrook at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night back down at St. Clairsville.
"They are very good," Shansky said. "They have beaten us down here before. We watched them play in the OVAC tournament. We are going to have to be ready for them. You watch them play, and you take notes and you scout them. They are in a tough league. We are going to have to play well against them."