by Gregg Meadows
Thursday night, Oct. 15 in Dresden, Coach Leigh Ann Longaberger’s Lady Dawg varsity volleyball squad picked up their sixth straight victory on a special night at The Dawg House, defeating visiting West Muskingum 25-16, 25-6, 25-12.
In an emotional pre-game tribute to 2014 TVHS graduate and student-athlete Sarah Ludinich – who passed away in February from ovarian cancer – Coach Longaberger paid homage to her former player and addressed the crowd and the Ludinich family in attendance, recalling fondly Sarah’s many attributes as a player – and person – then honoring her memory by announcing that from the 2020 season forward, the Lady Dawg volleyball annual Coaches Award, will be re-named The Sarah Ludinich Spirit Award. In honor of Sarah as well, all Tri-Valley volleyball players and coaches wore teal-colored ‘Team Sarah’ jerseys for Thursday’s contest vs West Muskingum, and are pictured below, surrounding the Ludinich family, followed by Sarah’s senior year volleyball picture, which was displayed at the school Thursday evening for the ceremony.
Thursday night’s TV win over West M. was the Lady Dawgs sixth straight victory and also final conference game of the 2020 regular season, as the black and gold netters finished their Muskingum Valley League slate with a solid mark of 11-5 in league play, while improving to 14-7 overall. Tri-Valley wraps up the regular season with Saturday’s scheduled finale at Licking Valley, then jumps on the postseason tournament trail on Wednesday night, Oct. 21, hosting Indian Valley.
Statistically for the winners in the West M. victory, Eva Dittmar led the way with 11 kills and three digs, followed by Abby Stanford (six kills, three blocks), Lexi Howe (six kills, seven assists, two digs, and seven aces), Aubrey Fritter (13 assists, three digs, one ace), and Trinity Vandusen (one kill, six digs, and five aces).
Coach Laura Seward’s Lady Dawg junior varsity also picked up a 25-13, 25-4 win in the JV contest, and were led by Rachel Paxson (10 assists, three digs, six aces), Katya Liber (12 kills) and Sarah Paxson (13 digs). The win upped the TV JV’s overall record to 14-7 overall and a final 11-5 mark in MVL play, identical marks to their varsity counterparts!
Back on Tuesday night, Oct. 13, the Lady Dawgs made a trip to South Zanesville a productive one, defeating the host Maysville Lady Panthers in straight sets 25-14, 25-14, 25-13, and were led by: Janie McLoughlin (nine kills, three blocks, one ace), Aubrey Fritter (20 assists, nine digs, with a 16/16 100% serving performance and two aces), Madi Bobo (13 digs), and Lexi Howe (10 kills, nine assists, two digs, one block and 100% serving). The TV JV’s opened the night of MVL play with a 25-13, 25-18 win over the host lady panther reserves and were led by Katya Liber with five kills, two blocks, and three aces, and Sarah Paxson with seven digs and three aces.
Last week – on Thursday, Oct. 8 in Dresden at The Dawg House – the Lady Dawgs made it a regular-season split with John Glenn, defeating the visiting Lady Muskies in three straight – but highly competitive – sets, 25-22, 25-22, 25-22. Statistically for the winners: Hannah King (eight kills, four digs, one block), Aubrey Fritter (18 assists, two digs), Lexi Howe (eight kills, five assists, seven digs), Madi Bobo (one assist, 12 digs), and Trinity Vandusen (one assist, 18 digs, 100% serving, one ace). The Lady Dawg JVs dropped a competitive reserve contest as well – 30-32, 25-21, 21-25 – to host John Glenn, and were led by Katya Liber’s nine kills and one dig, Falon Wolford’s eight kills, five digs, and two aces, and Sarah Paxson’s eight digs, and three aces.