Jordanne Blythe of Van Wert swings at a ball against Paulding on Monday night. (DHI Media/Sarah Harris)
Jordanne Blythe of Van Wert swings at a ball against Paulding on Monday night. (DHI Media/Sarah Harris)

PAULDING — In the season opener for both volleyball teams, Paulding took down Van Wert in three sets in "the jungle" on Monday night.

Final scores for the sets were 25-20, 27-25 and 25-19.

The Lady Cougars only held leads at four different points in the first two sets before Paulding went wire-to-wire to close things out in the third.

The two teams traded the first six points of the first set. On the next volley, Van Wert grabbed a 4-3 lead on a kill from Jordanne Blythe, then Paulding ripped off four straight, punctuated by a kill from Jocelyn Parrett.

From that point on, the Lady Panthers held the lead all the way up until the set ended at 25-20. Parrett combined with Elli Barton for six kills in the set.

For Van Wert, Jordanne Blythe blocked two balls and recorded two kills in the season-opening set.

The second set quickly became the turning point of the game after three lead-changes took place down the stretch and forced extra points with a 27-25 final.

The Lady Cougars trailed for the majority of the set before storming back to force ties at points 23 and 24.

Finley Foster perfectly placed a tip to give Van Wert their first lead at 25-24, but Paulding ended things soon after with three straight points on kills from Parrett and Barton, along with a failed return to go up 2-0 in the match.

Set three was lopsided in favor of Paulding until Van Wert went on a 6-0 run to tie the score at 17 on the second of back-to-back aces from Sayler Wise.

However, the Lady Panthers righted the ship and finished off the sweep with eight of the final 10 points.

Paulding's Carlea Kuckuck led all hitters with nine kills. Maci Kauser dug out 27 balls and Grace Goyings recorded 14 assists.

Both teams are back in action on Tuesday night against NWC co-champions. Paulding will play their first road game of the season against Crestview, while Van Wert hosts Lincolnview in their home opener.