STEWART — The Trimble Tomcats began work on another winning streak.
Trimble bounced back from only its second loss of the season, as it swept Federal Hocking 3-0 (25-20, 25-11, 25-13) on Thursday inside McIntruf Gymnasium.
The Tomcats (10-2, 7-1 Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division) remained in a first-place tie with Waterford and Eastern thanks to the win.
Trimble had won nine matches in a row before losing at Eastern on Tuesday, its first league defeat.
“Started a new lineup, did some different things, ran some different plays,” Trimble coach Shelly Lackey said, in response to the Tomcats’ bounce-back win. “Played very good back-row defense. I thought Briana Orsborne and Lexee Fouts passed very well from the serve receive.”
The Tomcats’ win was thorough, as a 7-3 deficit in the third set was the biggest hill they had to climb against the Lancers.
It was Trimble’s second win of the season against the Lancers, and junior outside hitter Laikyn Imler certainly made an impression on Federal Hocking.
Imler collected 19 kills on Thursday, after having 22 kills in the first meeting.
Imler and the Tomcats were off and running from the start, leading 9-0 in the first set. Imler had eight kills in the opening set win.
Freshman Faith Handley helped set the tone, serving during that nine-point run. She had two of her match-high six aces in the opening sequence, as she also added five kills in the win.
“She’s playing exceptionally well,” Lackey said. “She’s right behind Laikyn Imler in kills tonight. Especially on her defense, she’s always hitting her base. She’s playing fantastic.”
The Lancers were able to rally back from the early deficit to trail just 22-19 after Reagan Jeffers’ ace.
Trimble pulled away, and Emma Orsborne put down the final kill in the 25-20 win.
The Tomcats again raced ahead, this time 6-1, in the second set after Briana Orsborne’s kill.
Trimble ended that set on an 11-3 run for the 25-11 win.
Federal Hocking had leads of 4-1, 6-2, 7-3 and 8-5 in the third set before Trimble established itself.
The final tie game at 10-10 after Federal Hocking’s Kayleigh Lemaster recorded a kill, but the Tomcats never lost the lead again after Emma Orsborne followed with her own kill.
Briana Orsborne helped put the match away. Leading just 15-13, Imler’s kill gave the Tomcats the serve, and Orsborne went to the back row.
She served during a 10-0 run that allowed Trimble to win 25-13. She had three aces during that stretch, including consecutive aces to account for the final two points of the night.
Briana Orsborne also had three kills on the night to go with her three aces. Adelynn Stevens added eight kills for Trimble, while Emma Orsborne also had three kills.
Jacie Orsborne handed out 36 assists to go with two kills and three aces for Trimble.
“She’s only a sophomore,” Lackey said of her setter. “Sometimes I forget that because I ride her pretty hard, but she’s improved so much.”
Jeffers, Mikinzi Ollom, Kenedy Tabler and Brennah Jarvis each had two aces for Federal Hocking, while Jeffers had four kills.