Royals snap Eagles’ NBC stranglehold

Elmwood's Jasmine Marsh, right, spikes the ball against  Eastwood's Sarah Klink during Tuesday’s match. Marsh finsihed with 16 kills.
Elmwood's Jasmine Marsh, right, spikes the ball against Eastwood's Sarah Klink during Tuesday’s match. Marsh finsihed with 16 kills.

BLOOMDALE — Eastwood has owned the Northern Buckeye Conference in volleyball for the past three seasons.

The Royals went into Tuesday night's matchup with Elmwood having not lost a league match in three years and were looking to continue with that trend.

PHOTO GALLERY: Elmwood snaps Eastwood's 3-year streak

However, Elmwood had its own agenda and came through with an impressive 23-25, 25-22, 14-25, 25-17, 21-19 upset win over Eastwood before a raucous home crowd.

The Royals, who lost in four games to the Eagles earlier this season, finished the marathon match strong and showed plenty of fight down the stretch to take the final two games against the defending league champions.

Madison Arnold and Jasmine Marsh played well near the net. Arnold tallied a team-high 17 kills for the Royals (12-4, 7-2 NBC) collecting 16 kills and 11 digs.

Marsh came through with 16 kills and a team-best 11 digs.

"This is the biggest win of all time," Marsh said. "I love these girls. [The match] was so intense. It was great. We worked really hard for this."

Ashley Veryser added 10 kills while setter Amanda Jones registered a team-high 42 assists. Marissa Swavel added 26 digs and Jackie Baer accounted for seven digs in what will be remembered as a complete team effort by Elmwood coach Penny Rayle.

"It was endless effort from these girls," Rayle said. "They played with so much drive. We've been preparing for this game ever since the last time we saw them."

Elmwood celebrates winning the second set against  Eastwood.
Elmwood celebrates winning the second set against Eastwood.

Elise Wolff paced the Eagles (11-3, 8-1 NBC) with a game-high 28 kills and 23 digs. Brianna Hoodlebrink added 22 kills while Mackenzie Albright provided 22 digs in a losing effort. Jaci Juergens produced 58 assists and four aces for Eastwood.

"It was a great match," Eastwood coach Jeff Beck said. "They're a great team. They're loaded with seniors. We were waiting for the other team to commit errors and that wasn't going to happen."

Beck said he expected a close contest this second time around against the Royals this season. It certainly played out that way.

However, Eastwood grabbed early control of the contest by outlasting Elmwood to win the first game. Wolff tallied six kills during the first game to spark the Eagles.

The Royals bounced back to take the second game as Marsh became more active around the net.

Eastwood came out strong in the third and pulled away for an easy win. The Eagles headed into Game 4 with plenty of momentum and appeared to be on their way to improving to 8-0 in league this season.

However, the Royals regrouped and were able to pull away to send the match into a decisive fifth game.

The final game remained tight from start to finish with neither team ever leading by more than two points.

A Royals celebration began right after they scored the final two points of the match with Swavel serving the game-winners.

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.