Van Wert's Claire Gamble serves the ball in a game against Antwerp Monday in the Cougars' Den. The Lady Cougars downed Antwerp 3-0. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
BY NICK JOHNSON
Times Bulletin Correspondent
VAN WERT - The Van Wert Lady Cougars took on the Antwerp Lady Archers at Van Wert High School in volleyball on Monday night's Volley for the Cure contest. The Cougars defeated the Archers in three sets, 25-17, 26-24, 25-22.
Both team's ditched their usually uniforms and donned pink shirts to show their support for breast cancer during breast cancer awareness month. During the break between the JV and varsity match, both the Archers and the Cougars competed in games to help raise money for breast cancer
"It was really fun. We raised $350 in the cash grab, and another 100-some dollars in the 50/50 drawing. We came up with $500. It was fun - the girls had fun and so did I. I'm glad we could do this at home because last year it was at Wapak," said Van Wert coach Vicki Smith.
The first set got off to quick start by the Cougar,s as they jumped out to an 8-1 lead. Van Wert got kills from Ashlee Dowdy and Sydney Collins. The Archers fought back to make the score 15-10, Cougars, with kills from Lydia Yenser and Emily Hamman.
Van Wert scored three unanswered points and the Archers were forced to burn a timeout. After the timeout, Van Wert got two aces from Riley Jones and a kill from Melissa Bono to win the first set 25-17.
The second set was much of the same for the Cougars, with kills from Taylor Doidge and Alexa Dunlap, and an ace from Claire Gamble to get 15-9 lead. Antwerp battled back to ties at 18, 19, 20 and 24 with good play from Gabby Zuber and Tara Richhart.
With the set tied at 24, Van Wert got kills from Amanda Coplin and Dunlap to win the set 26-24 and take a 2-0 in the match.
The third set was another close set for both teams, and played hard to ties at 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12. Both teams got good play from Alexis Dowdy of Van Wert and Alexis Jones of Antwerp. The Archers built a 18-14 lead over the Cougars with kills from Hamman, but four straight Van Wert points forced Antwerp to use a timeout.
After the timeout, the teams battled back-and-forth. The Cougars got the upper hand off of kills from Dunlap, Alexis Dowdy and Ashlee Dowdy to win the third set 25-22 and win the match 3-0.
"The girls played very well tonight for not practicing in a while. We had a busy week last week so I gave them Friday night off. They came out and played very well tonight. We played our game, we let them go on a couple runs tonight, but all in all we played very well and I'm proud of the girls," added Smith.
Van Wert had a great crowd for Volley for the Cure. "Our girls love playing in front of the Cat Pack, so as long as we continue to play at home in front of the Cat Pack we should be fine for the rest of the season. It seems like the play a lot loose and more relaxed when they have their Cat Pack behind them," said Smith.
With the win on the evening, Van Wert improves their record to 11-8 on the season, and Antwerp drops 12-8.