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September 20, 2018

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Third straight Bulldog NWC title

After a three-match volleyball sweep at Grove

By Cort Reynolds
COLUMBUS GROVE - The visiting Ada volleyball team clinched its second consecutive outright Northwest Conference title with a straight-set showdown win at Columbus Grove Tuesday night in the regular season finale.


It was the second year in a row Ada captured the league championship at Grove, who was seeking to share the crown with a victory. Ada edged Grove in two close opening games before taking out the disheartened hosts in set three.

The purple and gold Bulldogs won 25-23, 25-23, 25-14 to improve to 14-7 overall and finish 8-0 in the NWC. CG fell to 16-5 and third in the NWC at 6-2 to finish behind second-place Crestview at 7-1.

With the sweep, the visiting Lady Bulldogs won their 16th NWC match in a row and three-peated as league champion.

Ada clinched the outright 2016 NWC title at Grove last year in a five-set win between NWC unbeatens, and shared the conference crown in 2015 with Paulding after CG handed Ada its last league defeat in the 2015 NWC finale.

Tuesday night, Ada senior Melina Woods served an ace on the sideline to clinch the seesaw opening set, 25-23.

The soon-to-be three-time NWC Player of the Year went on to hammer 29 kills, make 17 digs, collect two blocks and serve four aces to pace the winners.

Senior setter Maddie Gossard dished out 26 assists and served one ace to go with four digs, seven kills and three blocks. She now has 1,060 career assists.

Senior Nikki Lehsten came up with three blocks and added six digs.

Sophomore Sidney Gossard passed out seven assists, made four digs and served up a pair of aces.

Senior libero Olivia Alexander mustered up 18 digs while senior defensive specialist Kaiti Newland contributed four digs and served three aces.

The Bulldog reserves lost to Grove 25-23, 25-15 to finish 11-8 overall and 5-3 in the NWC.

Ada next hosts Lima Temple Christian in first round sectional play Monday, Oct. 16, at 6:30 p.m.

The winner hosts the McComb/Pandora-Gilboa victor Thursday, Oct. 19, in
second round action.

Ada has won six straight matches since they fell to Russia in the third-place match at the Minster Invitational.


• The 3-time NWC champion Ada varsity volleyball team.
• The six Ada letter winners repeated as outright NWC champions: from
left, front: Sidney Gossard, Olivia Alexander, Kaiti Newland. Back: Nikki
Lehsten, Melina Woods and Maddie Gossard.
• Reigning multiple-time NWC Player of the Year Melina Woods led Ada to
another league title.