Galion Claims Outright MOAC Championship

  • 10/10/2017 11:11:53 PM
  • Brian Skowronski
  • Local Sports

GALION, OH- The 2017 volleyball season turned out to be a pleasant surprise for Galion coach Jaime Valentine and her young group of Tigers. Though Valentine thought she had a team that could compete for a MOAC league title this year, she never really imagined her team would emerge as outright champions.

"I had in the back of my mind that we were definitely going to be one of the frontrunners (in the conference), but with starting three freshmen and only having one senior on the court, it's just surreal," Valentine told WMFD after her squad beat Buckeye Valley in three-sets on Tuesday night to clinch an outright MOAC Red Division crown. 

Getting to a championship level hasn't been an easy journey, Valentine adds, "From the beginning of the season from where we've come as far as coming together to become an actual team has been, I was telling the girls last night, it's been a very proud moment as a coach for sure."

Tigers senior Josie Ehrman echoed Valentine's sentiment about capturing an unexpected league title, saying, "It's really exciting. I didn't think it was gonna happen but we accomplished it."

A huge part of Galion's success this year has been the play of their lone starting senior, middle-hitter Marissa Gwinner. She leads the team with 363 kills on the season, including 22 in the Tigers 25-16, 25-23, 25-23 victory over the Barons to clinch the league crown. Gwinner is the noticeable emotional leader of the squad and as she typically does, gave maximum effort on Tuesday night to help drive her team towards victory.

"Being a senior, we come out as a strong team wanting to win and that's just what we do," says Gwinner. "We put it out there all on the line and tonight our coach put up some different lineups just to see what we could do for tournament play but we still played with our heart and our soul and we just took home that title and it feels great."

Galion wraps-up their impressive regular season at 16-6, 13-1, but will now have to wait until October 21 until they compete in state tournament action. As the #2 seed in the Division III Attica District, the Tigers will await the winner between #7 Bucyrus and #8 Edison.

 

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