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Rockets rally past Willard in SBC sweep

By JOSH MORGRET • Sep 7, 2017 at 9:08 PM

WILLARD — Oak Harbor trailed in all three games against Willard on Thursday.

The Rockets trailed by five points in each of the first two games, and by three points in the final game of the Sandusky Bay Conference Bay division match at Willard High School.

But the Rockets rebounded each time for a 25-17, 25-19, 25-23 sweep in the matchup of undefeated league teams.

The Rockets improve to 9-0 overall and 3-0 in SBC play. Oak Harbor has yet to even drop a game, winning all 25 games this season thus far.

"It was a very chess-like match, which in volleyball you do not see much unless both teams are high level," Willard coach Justin Rohrer said. "This is the first team we came across that we had to think more."

The Flashes (5-2, 2-1) jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first game after a kill by Lydia Wiers. Oak Harbor reeled off 13 of the next 16 points for a 15-10 lead, prompting a timeout from Rohrer. Junior hitters Peyton Bloomer and Logan Harris were key for the Rockets in the run.

The Flashes responded, and got within three points at 19-16, but an error by Willard and three kills and a block from Bloomer made it 24-16. Yet another kill by Bloomer, her eighth of the game, finished off Game 1.

"Willard was scrappy," Oak Harbor coach Jackie Gezo said. "We actually scrimmaged early on and knew they had good hitters. They were moving all the time. The long bus ride was a bit of a concern, but we were ready to go."

In the second game, it was Willard again that went to work early. The Flashes led, 4-1 after a kill from Wiers, and extended the lead later to as much as 16-11 on a Wiers kill. The Rockets were again, not phased.

Ashley Riley and Bloomer smashed kills to start a 6-0 run. With the score tied at 19, Abby Dornbusch and Harris put down kills around a Willard error. After a Willard timeout, Dornbusch recorded another kill before a block and kill by Harris ended the game.

"They made the right play, mentally, more than we did," Rohrer said. "I don’t think they physically dominated the match. I do not think they were pounding the ball. There was some tips off our hands for them. That is something we need to clean up."

Oak Harbor jumped out to an 8-4 lead early in the third game before Willard stormed back. The Flashes won the next five points for a lead. Kills from Wiers and Cassidy Crawford aided the Flashes to open a 13-10 lead. The teams battled back and forth, having ties at 17, 20, 21, 22 and 23-23.

Oak Harbor finally put Willard away, as Bloomer smashed her 22nd kill, and the Flashes committed a hitting error to end the match.

Wiers finished with 20 kills on 40-of-42 hitting. She added four blocks while Crawford tallied nine kills.

"I will stick it out there that I think I have the best hitter in the league," Rohrer said. "I think Lydia Wiers, by far, has the skills to be a next-level player. I think she went toe-to-toe with Peyton."

Madie Secor recorded 20 digs while Jena Adams was 105-of-106 setting with 37 assists.

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