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October 20, 2021

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Pirate spikers sweep Ada; Scoles passes 2,000 mark

By Cort Reynolds

Visiting Bluffton swept scrappy but short-handed rival Ada in a Northwest Conference volleyball match Tuesday evening, September 21, to record their seventh consecutive win.

Pirate senior setter Skyler Scoles recorded her 2,000th career assist early in game two, and got a nice ovation from the crowd during a brief stoppage of play. 

The Lady Pirates improved to 9-2 and 2-0 in league play with the convincing 25-16, 25-12, 25-12 victory. 

The two squads are streaking in opposite directions. The Lady Bulldogs dropped to 1-10 overall and 0-3 in the NWC with their ninth straight defeat.

"It was fun to see Skyler Scoles get her 2,000th assist," said Bluffton mentor Kevin King. "Kylie Stackhouse got her 1,000th kill earlier, and a lot of those assists were to her. 

"Ada is plagued with a lot of illness and injuries, but they fought hard and were scrappy. It is always good to get an NWC victory," he added.

The Lady Bulldogs were without key players Emilee Huffer, Lexi White, Amelia Alexander and Selena Jordan.

"I am really proud of how hard we played," said Ada head coach Kyleigh Woodruff. "I was glad to see the underclassmen get a chance to play, and they played hard. Bluffton is a really good team."

Ada fought hard to get to stay within 21-14 after a Mariah King kill in set one. King later added a block kill, but Bluffton closed it out 25-16 on a service error.

Scoles reached her milestone on a pass to Haelynn Bischoff for a kill at 3-0. The Pirates jumped ahead 4-0 but Bulldog junior Courtney Sumner served a winner to get Ada going. The hosts rallied to tie it 6-6 on four Pirate errors.

A huge kill by senior middle hitter Kylie Stackhouse put Bluffton back on top for good. A cross-court kill by Avery Talavinia was answered by an ace from Ada freshman Jenna Bassitt at 9-8.

Kylie Monday had a block kill as Bluffton reeled off a 4-1 spurt. Bulldog sophomore Autumn Andreasen stemmed the run with a left-handed tip.

Bluffton then ran off eight unanswered points as hard-serving freshman Ayla Grandey scored seven points. Sumner supplied a kill but Ada still trailed 22-11.

Pirate senior Sophie Bricker served a winner on set point to finish off a 25-12 win.

Stackhouse started set three with a running smash. Bischoff authored a nice tip to the open short middle, and Talavinia fired an ace.

Stackhouse came up with a block kill for a 4-1 lead. Sumner placed a looping kill cross-court to the open back corner, but Stackhouse and Grandey responded with consecutive kills.

Another Grandey kill sparked a Pirate run to an 11-4 lead. Bulldog sophomore Daicy Robinson came up with a big block kill as Ada pulled within 11-6. But Grandey slammed a kill off a blocker, then servd an ace.

Stackhouse contributed a kill and a block while Kylie Monday served an ace as Bluffton extended the lead to 18-7. Another Talavinia ace was followed by a clean kill from Bischoff. 

Robinson served a winner yet Stackhouse made another block kill for 22-9. Shortly thereafter Scoles fittingly ended the match on an ace, 25-12.

"We were scrappy but serve receive hurt us," said Woodruff. "Bluffton has some good, hard servers and some really good hitters."

Stackhouse hammered 12 kills and came up with five blocks to lead the Pirates.

Freshman Ayla Grandey knocked down six kills and made two blocks. Versatile senior Kylie Monday hit four kills and came up with a dozen digs to go with two blocks.

Scoles dished up 28 assists and made three blocks. "Skyler has played four years and has passed out a lot of assists to Kylie and other seniors," said King.

Senior Bischoff knocked down nine kills. Classmate Bricker hustled up seven digs. Talavinia served three aces.

Sumner hustled up 13 digs and hit for two kills to lead Ada.

The Pirate reserves defeated Ada, 2-0.

Bluffton seeks to extend its win streak at home Thursday, Sept. 23 vs. Crestview (7-4, 2-1 NWC). The Knights defeated Columbus Grove 3-0 Tuesday evening.

The Pirates then play in the eight-team Minster tournament Saturday.