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Eagles defeat Rebels in first round action

The Goshen Eagles volleyball team is in uncharted territory.

For the first time ever, the Eagles have advanced past the first round of the regional tournament, thanks to its five-game win over Thorsby Saturday morning at the Troy Sportsplex.

After losing the first game, GHS battled back to take down the Rebels, 20-25, 25-23, 25-14, 17-25 and 15-8.

“It’s a great feeling to where we are right now,” head coach Dee Hughes said.

“In that fifth game, there was a lot of pressure on the girls to come through and they played like they were completely unaffected by it all. It was a great match.”

Hughes explained that one of the keys to winning in the first round was to mix things up offensively.

“I told the girls, you can’t keep doing the same things with the ball. At this level of play, there are a lot of really good teams that are going to catch on and adjust. And I think that’s what happened in the fourth game. We had two really good games back-to-back and in the fourth game, Thorsby responded.

“But I thought all our girls, especially Ivia Pollard, Devon Izzio and Mary Jordan, all played great for us. They all were a spark for the team and they all came through.”

Now, the Eagles will prepare for a team they know quite well – Zion Chapel.

“Zion is a lot like Thorsby,” Hughes said. “We prepared for both the same way.”

The ZCHS Rebels defeated Millry in the first round of Saturday’s play and finished with a 13-15 overall record but was a perfect 4-0 in 2A Area 5 play during regular season play.

Kennedy Sanders led the way for the Rebels, with 141 kills and 70 total blocks.

The only time the two teams met each other this season was in the Pea River Valley Conference Tournament, when ZCHS defeated GHS in two games.

Like the Eagles, this is the first time the Rebels have advanced this far into the postseason.

“This speaks a lot about how far both programs have come,” Hughes said, “and it should be a great match.”

Second round action will begin at 1:30 p.m.