By Eric Barnes
HUDSON — The Wadsworth volleyball team found some momentum late in the match Thursday, but couldn’t overcome an early deficit in its Division I regional semifinal loss to Kenston at Hudson.
Despite a surge that led to a Game 3 victory and carried over into Game 4, the Grizzlies fell 25-16, 25-18, 22-25, 25-21.
“We just didn’t do the little things in the first two sets that we needed to do,” Wadsworth coach Jill Quayle said. “And when we finally started to do them, we were successful with that in Set 3. In Set 4, we did those things, but we just couldn’t pull it out at the end.
“I’m really happy with how we played and our effort. Just little things here and there — little runs that (Kenston) had that got away from us.”
After two rough games, the Grizzlies found a spark. Kenston still held a two-point advantage at the start of the third game, but Wadsworth chipped away and tied things 13, 14, 15 and 16. The Grizzlies took a 17-16 lead and closed out the game behind some hard hits from freshman Jodi Johnson (team-high 16 kills) and juniors Peyton Booth and Madison Gilger.
“I wanted to win this. We all did,” Johnson said. “I did what I could for the team, but we came up short.”
Booth was also a force during Wadsworth’s surge. The 5-foot-9 junior had 12 kills and 21 digs.
Senior Rachel Goddard, who had 39 digs, said her team has nothing to be ashamed of.
“I thought we gave a better effort. It just didn’t turn out our way tonight,” said Goddard, who will now turn her focus toward basketball. “I thought we played as hard as we could.
“After we beat them in the third game, we proved we could beat them, so our confidence went up and that led into the fourth game and built some momentum.”
Quayle said Goddard’s departure will certainly leave a void in the school’s volleyball program.
“Rachel Goddard is an outstanding athlete,” she said. “She just shrinks the court in the back row. She is everywhere. She is a steady player. We’ll miss her, and I wish her all the best in the future as a basketball player.”
Haley Beavers, another senior, had 41 assists, while classmate Haley Hassinger added 12 digs.
Contact Eric Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org.