Dutchgirl volleyball sweeps home opener

Will Johnson
Sports Editor

For the last six years, first-year Owensville Dutchgirl head volleyball coach Jamie Ridenhour officiated several matches and tournaments at Owensville High School.

Thursday night marked her coaching debut for the orange and black against Linn’s Lady Wildcats.

Oddly enough, Linn head coach Michelle Kelley and Ridenhour were teammates and opponents during their high school days.

“She (Coach Kelly) went to school with me at Belle and we were teammates,” Ridenhour said. “After she transferred to Chamois, we were then opponents.”

Seeing the freshman and junior varsity Dutchgirls win their matches in two sets, Ridenhour’s varsity squad looked to complete the trifecta with a two-game sweep of their own.

Down as much as six points in game one on three occasions, Owensville rallied behind three Emily McKinney kills to tie game one at 22-22 before going on to take game one and eventually the match by scores of 28-26 and 25-13.

“We came out very sluggish in the beginning but they didn’t give up,” Ridenhour said. “We were able to fight through a slow start and have a good finish.”

In that first set, McKinney recorded an ace, four kills and a block before serving the final two points after that block tied game one at 26-26.

“Emily (McKinney) has got some great potential,” Ridenhour said. “She’s smart, super athletic, a workhorse and she’ll do anything.”

As game two gradually wore on, OHS got blocks from Emma Jahnsen, Haylee Grannemann and Marissa West-Derby helping them lead 12-8 midway through the set.

“It was a total team effort in the win tonight,” Ridenhour said.

Behind the serving of Celeste Brandt and kills from Amber Nelms, the senior duo helped Ridenhour win her first match as Dutchgirl head volleyball coach.

“I was feeling good and getting my serves over,” Brandt said of the final six points of the match.

Unofficially, McKinney led the Dutchgirls with six kills. In the serving department, Brandt paced the Dutchgirls with two aces out of nine good serves.

Helping the Dutchgirls have a block party with two each were Breanna Diestelkamp, Jahnsen and Grannemann.

JV Dutchgirls vs. Linn

Thanks to solid service runs from Cadi Ruth in game one and Leanne O’Toole in game two, Misti Rutledge’s junior varsity Dutchgirl volleyball team also swept Linn in two sets by scores of 25-12 and 25-6.

Tied at 1-1 early in the first set, A kill from Ruth put OHS ahead before she served the next five points for a quick 7-1 advantage.

A few points later, Haley Coello, served three in a row with a pair of Maddy Steever kills giving the Dutchgirls an 11-3 lead causing the visiting Lady Wildcats to use their first timeout of game one.

Celebrating her 16th birthday three days later on Sunday, Taylor McClure served three points before a Kyla Hendrix aced capped Owensville’s first-set win over Linn.

Already with a commanding 15-4 lead in game two, O’Toole served the next seven points with four of them being aces bumping the lead to 22-4.

Errors by the Lady Wildcats on three of the final four points gave the Dutchgirls game two and the match.

Freshman Dutchgirls vs. Linn

Opening the volleyball tripleheader Thursday night from OHS, Courtney Castor’s freshmen Dutchgirls took on the visitors from Linn.

Paige Deimeke served eight points in a row with three of them good for aces in Owensville’s 25-11 game-one victory.

Paige Loyd served five in a row to go along with three Shelby Malone aces giving OHS game two and the match by scores of 25-11 and 25-13.

Ridenhour’s varsity Dutchgirls will compete Saturday in the Fulton Invitational Volleyball Tournament beginning at 8:30 a.m., in Pool A with Bowling Green, Eldon and the host Lady Hornets.

All three OHS volleyball teams will return home on Monday, Sept. 10 to face Washington with the freshman match starting at 5 p.m.