MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon
High School boys volleyball team returned home to host Delaware on Senior Night
at “The Hive,” Tuesday. Celebrating the accomplishments of Chris
Hinger and Corey Sheller, the Yellow Jackets made short work of the Pacers, winning
in three games, 25-21, 25-13, 25-15.
“This feels pretty good,” said Sheller. “Knowing this was our last match at home, we wanted to have fun and make the last game memorable.”
“This is pretty sad because I’ll never get to play in this gym again,” said Hinger. “We were just trying to have fun today and get a win.”
Game 1 was fairly close as Delaware gave Mount Vernon (9-4, 5-0 Ohio Capital Conference) a run. The Jackets led by as many as six on two occasions, but the Pacers made a run to take the lead, 16-15. Mount Vernon answered with three points off kills by Hinger and Ben Bennett, but the Pacers went on a 4-1 run to go back on top, 20-19. Sheller hammered a kill to even the score and that started a 5-1 run to end the game.
“We are swinging hard, and a lot of teams don’t expect that,” said Sheller. “If you put the ball down hard, it is going to make the other team work.”
Much like the first game, Game 2 was close early on. An 11-2 run by the Jackets, however, ended any Pacer hopes for a win. Delaware managed to break the Jackets’ serve, but couldn’t mount any serious threat. Mount Vernon closed Game 2 out with a 6-1 spurt.
The Jackets continued their strong net play into Game 3. Several blocks and kills helped swing the score into the Jackets’ favor in a hurry; Mount Vernon jumped out to a 12-2 lead. The Pacers cut the lead to eight over the next few serves, but the Jackets were too strong. They opened the lead back out to 10 and then traded serves to take the match.
“We’ve been working on blocking a lot since the Cincinnati Moeller match; we were exploited by a lack of blocking,” said Mount Vernon assistant coach Ron Doup. “As you play the better teams, you’ve got to block better. That’s why we’ve spent several nights at practice just working on blocking.”
Chris Ingersol led Mount Vernon with 18 assists, five kills, three blocks and two aces against Delaware. Ben Miglin added six assists, four kills, one block and four aces; Bennett had six kills, seven blocks and an ace; Hinger finished with six kills and two blocks; and Sheller added five kills. Trey Williams had three kills, and Andre Nixon made two kills.
With the end of the match came the end of the home career of Sheller and Hinger. Neither will be playing at the college level, meaning this season will be their last competitively. Sheller plans on attending the University of Cincinnati and studying pre-medicine, while Hinger plans to study electrical engineering at Central Ohio Technical College. For athletes that have been so active in their high school careers, it is hard to imagine them not in a Yellow Jacket uniform.
“We have two seniors — two great kids — that have been with the program for a while,” said Doup. “They’ve worked hard the entire time, and have done a nice job for us.”
Mount Vernon head coach Alan Cassell also honored longtime assistant coach Ron Doup prior to Tuesday’s game. He remarked how Doup is a true players’ coach, and it is because of his efforts the Mount Vernon program is where it is today.
With another win in its pocket, Mount Vernon has positioned itself to win the OCC title. The Jackets have two more games they must win, however, for that to become a reality. They play an OCC match on Thursday at Pickerington Central.
“This is a good OCC win for us, but we need to keep winning,” said Hinger. “Our goal is to win the OCC, and we still have a couple of OCC games left over the next two weeks.”
“We have to keep winning our conference games, keep pushing forward and work toward our goal at the end,” said Doup.
In junior varsity action, Mount Vernon swept the Pacers, winning 25-13, 27-25. Ethan Beckholt led Mount Vernon with 10 points and three aces; Korey Bielecki added eight points and an ace; and Steve Barcus finished with six points and two aces.