MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon boys volleyball team found out a little about itself Thursday.
The Yellow Jackets needed to dig down deep in the second and third sets and found something they liked, pulling out a 25-18, 28-26, 33-31 victory over visiting Gahanna in Ohio Capital Conference action.
After jumping out to a big lead and cruising to a victory in the first set, things changed for the Jackets (8-4) in the second. Leading 16-12, Mount Vernon watched as Gahanna scored seven in a row and 12 of the next 14 to take a commanding lead.
The Jackets were able to hang in there, getting a couple of huge plays from all kinds of different players and fought back to win the second.
“We picked up the momentum and they started to crumble,” said senior Chris Omahan. “We just stepped on their throats and never let up. That’s what got us the win in the second set.”
“They were taking a lot of things away from us. We were finally able to get things going,” said assistant coach Abby Smith. “We had our ups and downs, but we’ve got real good leaders and they were able to bring the other guys up.”
That momentum the Jackets got from the big second-set win carried over into the third. They led 15-9 and looked to be ready to cruise home with the victory. But, Gahanna wasn’t ready to go away, rolling off 11 straight points to grab control.
Mount Vernon dug down deep once again, scoring six straight to get back in the game. With a rowdy crowd pulling for the Jackets on every point, the team was able to pull out the victory way past the original bell.
“We just played good as a team. Everybody contributed. It was a good team effort,” said MV senior Ethan Beckholt. “The more excitement we brought, the more down they got and they committed more errors.”
“The fans won the third. The excitement they brought with every single point was great,” said Omahan.
The Jackets were able to use their outside trio of Omahan, Beckholt and Josiah Burney to their advantage throughout the night despite the fact Gahanna brought in one of the taller players and front lines. Omahan had 18 kills, Beckholt had 11 kills, and Burney had four kills before leaving the game with an injury in the third.
“They have a lot of height but our outside guys did a great job. We just set it more to the outside so we could use the lines better,” said Smith.
“Losing Josiah took a bunch out of both our offense and our defense. But, we were able to recover fast,” said Omahan.
Steve Barcus helped the Jackets’ cause with 29 assists, six digs and four kills. Aaron Nixon had five blocks and three kills, Bryan Downs had seven digs, Josh Beougher three kills and Ben Robinson two digs.
Mount Vernon’s jayvee team also won, beating the Lions 25-21, 25-23. Matt McManaway led the Jackets (8-3) with three aces.
It was a clean sweep on the night as the Jackets won the freshman game, 25-12, 21-25, 25-12. Alex Robinson led Mount Vernon with seven aces, Joe Crescimanno added two aces, while McManaway and Sage Whisner both had one.