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July 11, 2020

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Ada spikers cage Bearcats

Bulldog seniors Guagenti, Josie Poling and Preston were honored before the match and went out with a win in Ada's last regular season home match

By Cort Reynolds
ADA - The host Ada volleyball team swept Spencerville in a Northwest Conference match to celebrate Senior Night in style Thursday.

The Lady Bulldogs improved to 9-11 overall and 2-5 in the NWC with a convincing 25-14, 25-23, 25-12 win. The Bearcat girls fell to 6-12 and 0-7 in the NWC with the defeat.

"I finally felt like we had good energy," said Ada head coach Kyleigh Tabor. "We played hard and had fun."

"It was a tough loss; we played hard," said Spencerville head coach Amy Hoback.

Ada led 5-2 early in set one after a Megan Light kill and an ace by senior Kendal Guagenti. A block kill from junior Miranda Wills and a Light ace advanced the lead to 9-4.

A Wills kill and a Kylie Acheson sideline smash made it 12-5. Bearcat senior Nelaya Burden unleashed a huge clean kill down the left sideline to inch within 13-9.

Ada spurted back in front 18-9 with a 5-0 run as senior Josie Poling placed a clean kill to the open back. Spencerville edged within 18-12, but junior Aubrey Madison served two aces to regain control for the hosts.

A smash from junior middle Light, and a two-hand tip by sophomore Kirsten Poling ended set one for Ada, 25-14.

Set two was much closer. Freshman Claire Hoback smashed two kills and a tip, followed by a Burden cross-court kill, to put the Bearcats ahead 7-6. Another huge Burden smash kept the visitors on top 9-8.

An Ada flurry put the Bulldogs back on top, 13-10. Burden's hitting helped the Bearcats pull into a 15-15 tie. A short kill by Madison and a block kill from Light knottd it again at 17-all.

Acheson's kill bounced out of bounds off a Bearcat block to put Ada in front. A kill and a block kill by Wills, plus a Bearcat error, gave the purple and gold a 21-17 edge. Ada senior Kelly Preston served three consecutive points in the splurge.

Spencerville answered with a 3-0 mini-run to pull within 21-20. A Bearcat serve sailed long to stem their momentum, yet Burden's powerful kill dropped to the floor off the top of the net to tie it, 23-23.

Josie Poling responded with a clean kill to give Ada set point. The Bearcats then hit long as the Bulldogs escaped with a 25-23 win and a 2-0 lead.

"They got a few runs on us in the second set, but I was proud to see how we responded in the third set," said Tabor.

Ada rode momentum to a 10-4 lead in set three. Wills found the open back corner twice in a row with good placement, and an Acheson ace made it 12-5.

Two kills by the promising Hoback and a huge Burden smash to the open back brought the visitors within 13-8. Successful tips by Light and Kirsten Poling, and a clean Light smash offset Burden's block kill for a 16-8 cushion.

Sophomore Samara Norbeck hammered a clean kill to keep the Bearcats within 17-10. A kill by Light and a Kirsten Poling block kill advanced the Ada lead to 20-11.

Wills then ended a long rally with a clean kill after Poling made two blocks to extend the play for a 21-11 margin. A Wills kill, followed later by a good serve got the Bulldogs to set point at 24-12.

Senior libero Guagenti then finished the match with a rare back row kill, 25-14.

"It was great to see her end the match on Senior Night with her first kill attempt," said Tabor.

Hustling Wills led Ada with nine kills and 20 digs. She also passed out five assists and served three aces.

Junior Light knocked down seven kills, made seven blocks and dealt two aces.

Libero Guagenti mustered 19 digs and hit for one kill. Setter Kirsten Poling passed out 11 assists, came up with six big blocks and served two aces.

Josie Poling contributed six kills, and Madison doled out six assists with two aces. Junior Acheson contributed three kills and three assists.

"We hit the spots well in our serving, and Wills played well," said Tabor.

Burden led the Bearcats with nine kills while Hoback contributed seven. Norbeck added four kills.

The Lady Bulldog reserves lost to Spencerville, 2-1.

Bulldog seniors Guagenti, Josie Poling and Preston were honored before the match and went out with a win in Ada's last regular season home match.

Drawing for the 14-team Bluffton sectionals will be held Sunday.

Ada finished the regular season 2-6 at home. The Bulldogs visit league co-leader Lincolnview (17-2, 6-0 NWC) Tuesday, October 9.

The Bulldogs then visit Perry in the regular season finale Oct. 10.