The trek through the newly renovated Inter-Valley Conference is one fraught with pitfalls, thanks to the infusion of several tremendous volleyball programs that are used to winning and winning a lot.
Trying to tackle the likes of Buckeye Trail, Tusky Valley, Claymont and Indian Valley in addition to the rest of the old IVC has been a challenge for the Garaway Lady Pirates, a perennial front-runner in the league. A dangerous schedule has led to a 7-10 record for Garaway, but head coach Katie Scott said that regardless of the record, the uptick in the level of competition is only preparing her team even more for the tournament season.
“Our league is more competitive than ever,” Scott said. “I think every school has it cut out for them, and every game is going to boil down to who makes the least number of mistakes, and that level of competition has prepared us for tournament play more than ever before.”
Scott added that the strength of schedule in league play has contributed heavily to the record this season, but she would rather have her team play tough competition and suffer a little bit in their overall record than play patsies they can beat up.
On Tuesday, Oct. 3 in Sugarcreek, the Lady Pirates showed just how ready they are for the second season by dismantling the Newcomerstown Trojans in three straight games 25-15, 25-13, 25-16. In each of the three games, Garaway got out to big leads and cruised to victory, allowing Scott to substitute liberally.
Scott said the big win was her team making a commitment to coming out from point one with a driving desire to dominate.
“We struggled early against East Canton last night because we weren’t very focused and didn’t play with much energy,” Scott said of the Lady Pirates’ four-game win over East Canton. “Tonight we made a commitment to come out on fire and never let up. We figured if we came out ready to go, we could take control early, and we did. This was a good run for us tonight. We played well from start to finish. Our goal needs to be to come with that kind of passion and fire every night out and put it to everyone we play.”
Sam Putt led the Lady Pirates with nine kills and six digs while Liz Yoder hammered out six service aces.