CHAMPIONS! Shoregals sweep Eagles to win SWC|
Last season, the Avon Lake volleyball team went out in search of the program’s first Southwestern Conference championship since 1995. When the 2012 season rolled around, the Shoregals quickly realized their role in the league had dramatically changed.
They went from being the hunters to the hunted.
But despite a season-opening loss at Brecksville, the Shoregals answered that challenge. They capped off a 13-league match win streak Thursday night with a 24-14, 25-19, 25-16 win at North Olmsted to clinch the outright SWC crown for the second year in a row.
“We had to work a lot harder for it this year,” admitted senior middle hitter Chistine Bohan, who registered 13 kills to lead the Avon Lake offense.
“I feel we turned out to be a better team than last year,” Bohan said. “Even though our record in the conference is the same...
River spikers outlast Rangers in five-set marathon|
With the regular season winding down and Elyria Catholic clinching the West Shore Conference championship, it was time to switch gears for the Lakewood and Rocky River volleyball teams.
Both the Rangers and Pirates enter tournament play next week, and Tuesday night’s match had a playoff atmosphere to it as River prevailed 23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 19-25, 15-11 in a WSC barn burner at Lakewood High.
Rocky River, which closes out the regular season Thursday night at Bay, edged it’s way over the .500 mark at 11-10. The Pirates also moved to 8-5 in the WSC with a third-place finish still within reach.
Lakewood, coming off a 2-1 performance at the Mayfield Tournament over the weekend, fell to 10-11 overall and 6-7 in league...
Eagles soar back to even after sweeping Demons|
Consistency may be the word uttered most by volleyball coaches at all levels of the game when talking about their team’s play. The ups and downs in a match, along with the sometimes-drastic momentum swings, make it a crucial component to a team’s success.
Thursday night’s Southwestern Conference volleyball matchup between North Olmsted and Westlake was one between two teams looking for more of that consistency.
With the regular season nearing a close, North Olmsted seemed to have the edge...
Panthers sweep Avon, maintain hold on WSC lead|
After playing great volleyball over the past few weeks, the youthful Avon squad was looking forward to it’s match at Elyria Catholic Tuesday night.
The Panthers, unbeaten in the West Shore Conference, were ranked fifth in the lastest Division III coaches poll but just one match ahead of the Eagles in the standings. It was an opportunity for Avon to make a statement that their young team had arrived.
Instead, the Eagles left Elyria knowing they had more work to do.
The Panthers held off a furious rally to win the second set, then jumped out to a big lead in the third set to sweep the Eagles 25-15, 25-23, 25-15 at the EC Coliseum. The win gave...
Focused Shoregals sweep Bees out of first place|
With a season-opening loss to Brecksville still fresh in their minds, the Avon Lake Shoregals came into Thursday night’s Southwestern Conference rematch focused and ready to go.
That wasn’t good news for the Bees.
Behind a big serving night from Christine Bohan, the Shoregals kept their mistakes to a minimum and swept Brecksville 25-20, 25-18, 25-16 to remain no less than tied for first place in the SWC with six matches to go.
Brecksville, coming off a three-set loss to Amherst on Tuesday night, fell to 6-2 in the SWC and 11-5 overall.
“The first time we played them, we missed 15 serves and had 23 serve receive errors...
Shoregals sweep Eagles, brace for Bees Thursday|
In what seems like eons ago, the Avon Lake volleyball team opened the 2012 season with a loss at Brecksville.
If Tuesday night was any indication, the Shoregals are more than ready for the rematch.
The defending Southwestern Conference champions were a force at the net and served tough all night in a convincing 25-15, 25-21, 25-18 win over visiting North Olmsted. Avon Lake served up a lucky 13 aces on the night and put up a block that stymied Eagle hitters throughout the match.
With the win, Avon Lake moved to 6-1 in the SWC at the halfway point. Shortly after the match, the Shoregals found out that Amherst had thrown the league race into a three-way tie with a 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 thrashing of Brecksville just west up Rt. 2.
The Shoregals, now 7-2 overall, will host the Bees Thursday night...
Magnificat puts things together in win over Pirates|
With both teams hovering around the halfway point of their respective seasons, the Magnificat and Rocky River volleyball teams went into Monday night’s match still looking to piece things together in 2012.
When it was all said and done, is was the Blue Streaks who took a big step into the second half of the season.
Magnificat, struggling to get over the .500 mark, got back to even with a 25-16, 25-12, 25-18 road win over the Pirates. River, now 7-4, had it’s chances throughout the match but couldn’t get past the inconsistent play that has plagued them throughout the first half of the season. “We’re still inconsistent. We didn’t do quite enough...
Opportunity knocks, River answers in four-set win|
Thursday night’s volleyball match between Lakewood and Rocky River was one filled with opportunity for both teams.
In the end, it was the Pirates who took managed to take advantage.
Despite stumbling in the third set, they managed to come back strong enough in the fourth and came away with a 25-14, 25-19, 12-25, 25-18 win over the Rangers in an important West Shore Conference matchup. The Pirates, coming off a loss to first-place Elyria Catholic, needed the win...
Eagle spikers recover for SWC win over Demons|
Trailing Westlake one set to none, the North Olmsted volleyball team knew it had some adjustments to make to get back into Tuesday night’s Southwestern Conference match.
Those adjustments were made, and the results soon followed.
North Olmsted, behind the one-two punch of outside hitters Tia McCord and Dana Borsz, cleaned up it’s game and went on a roll. The Eagles won the next three sets for a solid 23-25, 25-14, 25 16, 25-15 win over the Demons that kept them in the thick of the SWC race.
“We told our kids after the first game that they just needed to stay aggressive,” said Eagles head coach Jason Krucek, whose team...
Video: River spikers take third at own invitational|
The Rocky River volleyball team finished third at it’s 33rd annual Rocky River Volleyball Invitational Saturday. The Pirates defeated Keystone, 25-23, 25-11 to finish 2-1 on the day.
In the championship match, Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin won the event with a 25-19, 20-25, 25-14 win over Brookside.
North Olmsted also went 2-1 on the day, but dropped out of contention with an opening 25-22, 17-25, 25-13 loss to River. The Eagles bounced back with a 25-14, 24-26, 25-18 win over Trinity and a 21-25, 25-16, 25-23 victory over Cuyahoga Heights.
Lakewood had rough day, but finished things off with a 26-24, 25-17 win over Trinity. The Rangers opened their day with a 22-25, 25-21, 27-25...
Blue Streaks fight off Padua for tournament title|
The Magnificat volleyball team found itself in a very unusual position heading into Saturday’s annual Magnificat Showcase Tournament.
The Blue Streaks came into the tournament winless at 0-3 after losses to Notre Dame Academy, Kenston and Beaumont. But they broke their losing streak with a 25-11, 25-14 win over Brecksville in Saturday’s first round, then defeated Holy Name and Padua to claim the Showcase title and even their record at 3-3.
“We were really focused on playing at home...
Eagles take control early in 3-set sweep at River|
After a big win last week at Midview, Rocky River head coach Kelly Bennett was looking for more of the same Tuesday night as Avon paid a visit.
As it turned out, the Eagles had other ideas.
Avon took advantage of numerous Pirate mistakes in the first set and left town with a three-set sweep in handing River its first loss of the season. The 25-13, 25-17, 25-22 Eagle win put both teams at 2-1 in the West Shore Conference, one game behind front-running Lakewood and Elyria Catholic.
“Our offense has really picked up a lot,” said Avon head coach Jenn Larrick...
Shoregals bounce back with sweep over Braves|
When you win a conference championship, in any sport, you always have a bullseye on your back the following season. To have a chance to repeat, a team has to learn how to play with that added pressure.
Following a season-opening loss on Tuesday night to Brecksville, Avon Lake needed to make a statement in its home opener on Thursday against Berea. Falling two games back in the Southwestern Conference would not be a good way for the Shoregals to start their defense of the crown.
Lesson learned. Avon Lake took control...
Lakewood spikers sweep Rockets in WSC debut|
Tuesday night, the Lakewood volleyball team traveled to Bay High for its first-ever match as a member of the West Shore Conference.
The task at hand: Take on a program that had won the league title the past three years on a row, in their own gym and less than 24 hours after winning your season opener in five sets.
While the Rangers may not have played their best, the results spoke for themselves. Lakewood ran the table, rallying from behind in the third set to sweep the Rockets 25-23, 25-22, 26-24 at The Launch Pad. “This is obviously our first match in this...
River rolls in three set win over youthful Westlake|
A three-set loss in the season opener probably wasn’t what first-year head coach Meghan Mental and her Westlake Demons were looking for Saturday afternoon.
But from Mental’s perspective, brighter days are ahead despite a 25-11, 25-17, 25-21 loss to visiting Rocky River that officially opened the 2012 volleyball season in the Westshore.
“Since were so young, I’m trying to get the girls to stay positive and move on to the next play,” Mental said after the match. “Sometimes we tend to let our mistakes get to us,” she said. “We’re getting better, though, at shaking those off...
Top-ranked Arrows end Blue Streaks' state hopes|
Throughout the 2011 season, Toledo St. Ursula Academy breezed through its regular season at 22-0 and was the top-ranked Division I team in the Ohio Volleyball Coaches Asociation poll.
In those 22 wins, only five teams were able to push the Arrows to a fourth game. One of those was the fifth-ranked Magnificat Blue Streaks.
The Blue Streaks had a chance to do it again Saturday in the Norwalk Division I Regional championship match. But SUA erased a five-point deficit late in the second set...
Streaks top Bears for 25th straight district crown|
Thursday night at Strongsville, North Royalton came into the Division I district title match determined to stop Magnificat\'s streak of 24-straight championships.
Behind the 6-3 Sara Schwarzwalder, the Bears looked ready to achieve their goal. But the Blue Streaks would not be denied and came away with a 25-16, 23-25, 25-23, 25-16 win to make it 25 district crowns in a row.
\"It doesn\'t get old, but it gets harder,\" said Magnificat head coach Mike Cannon...
Streaks ready for Bears after win over Mustangs|
At tournament time, playing a volleyball team on its home court is always a concern. Magnificat head coach Mike Cannon had such concerns heading into his team’s Division I district semifinal match with Strongsville.
But on Tuesday night, the Blue Steaks put those concerns to rest in convincing fashion.
Magnificat, with its offense clicking on all cylinders, put the host Mustangs back on their collective heels from the start...
Shoregals start fast, eliminate Westlake in three|
During the regular season, the Westlake volleyball team had been able to give state-ranked Avon Lake all it could handle during its two Southwestern Conference matches.
Thursday night was a different story.
The Shoregals, after getting pushed to the brink by North Olmsted on Monday, came out determined and took care of the Demons 25-17, 25-17, 25-20 in a Division I sectional championship match...
Blue Streaks fall to Cougars to end regular season|
Year after year, the Magnificat volleyball program puts together the toughest regular season schedule possible. The Blue Streaks annually run the gauntlet of perennial state powerhouses in preparation for the state tournament.
Magnificat’s grueling regular season came to an end Thursday night in a four-set loss to Lake Catholic. The defending Division II state champions left the House on Hilliard with a 25-23, 27-25, 13-25, 25-18 decision.
That match came just two days after the Blue Streaks’...
Seniors play a key role in Rockets' run to WSC title|
More times than not, championship teams have a solid nucleus of seniors leading the way.
The Bay volleyball team is no exception.
Team co-captains Claire Wilson and Rachel Vick, along with fellow seniors Amy Urwin, Katie McFeeley, Jenny Osborn and Amelia Stickler, formed that nucleus this year. They also led the Rockets to their third-straight West Shore Conference championship Tuesday night...
CHAMPIONS! Rockets defeat EC, earn WSC 3-peat|
Throughout the 2011 season, the Bay volleyball team has found a way to dig down deep and pull out some very big wins.
Tuesday night was no exception, and it will probably be a night the Rockets won\'t soon forget.
Down 20-14 in the third set, Bay went on an amazing 11-1 run to close out a 25-19, 25-15, 25-21 win at Elyria Catholic to clinch its third-straight West Shore Conference championship. The Rockets moved to 10-1 in the league to win the crown...
Volleyball: Battle lines drawn for OHSAA tourney|
The battle lines have been drawn in the upcoming OHSAA State Volleyball Tournament.
The area’s state-ranked teams - Avon Lake, Bay and Magnificat - will be looking to advance out of their respective district tournaments beginning Oct. 17. That’s when the No. 10 Shoregals take on fellow Southwestern Conference member North Olmsted in their Grafton district opener.
Magnificat, the No. 4 team in the state in Division I, will open play Oct. 20 in the Strongsville district tournament. No. 12 North Royalton is also in that tournament and is in the bracket opposite the Blue Streaks.
Bay will look to wrap up its third-straight...
Rockets top Rangers, will play EC for WSC crown|
Following a three-set victory over North Ridgeville on Volley for The Cure Night, Bay has put itself right where it wanted to be.
For the Rockets, it all comes down to Tuesday night.
On Thursday night, Bay took care of business with a 25-18, 25-17, 26-24 win over the Rangers at Bay Middle School. Next Tuesday, the Rockets will take their 9-1 conference mark to twice-beaten Elyria Catholic for a match that will determine the West Shore Conference championship....
Westlake fights back to take Eagles in five sets|
In the first set of Tuesday night’s volleyball match at Westlake, North Olmsted made enough mistakes to last an entire match in dropping a 25-19 decision.
The Eagles battled back, taking a 2-1 lead on Volley For The Cure Night. But with a chance to close things out in the fourth set, those mistakes crept back into the picture.
The Demons were all but happy to take advantage...
Rockets do it with defense, regain control of WSC|
Earlier this month, Midview had its way in its home volleyball match with Bay.
This time around, the Middies didn’t know what hit them.
The streaking Rockets jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the first set and held off a Midview challenge in the third to claim a 25-11, 25-16, 26-24 win Thursday night. It was Bay’s 10th win in a row and allowed the Rockets to regain...
Volleyball: Streaks fall in Toledo; Bay tops Sailors|
The Magnificat Road Warriors, better known as the Blue Streaks, haven’t seen much of Cuyahoga County the past few days.
Last weekend, the team traveled to Cincinnati to take part in the two-day Mother of Mercy Fall Classic. The Streaks went 3-1, then had a short stay at home before hitting the road to Toledo to take on St. Ursula Academy Tuesday night.
St. Ursula just happened to be the No. 1 ranked Division I team in Ohio, unbeaten at 13-0...
Unbeaten Shoregals hold off determined Demons|
Despite a 2-0 lead over Westlake, Avon Lake suddenly found itself with a match on its hands.
But when push came to shove, the state-ranked Shoregals responded.
The up-and-coming Demons rallied and took the third set, 25-21, then took a quick 3-1 lead in the fourth. Avon Lake, however, came up with a rally of its own...
Rockets keep rolling in three-set win over Pirates|
Earlier this season, the Bay volleyball team dropped a five-set decision to Midview.
Since that night in Grafton, the Rockets have a done a complete about face. It hasn’t been much fun for their opponents, with Bay winning seven matches in a row.
Tuesday night in Rocky River, the Rockets made it eight straight to move to 11-2 on the season...
Bees too much for shorthanded Westlake spikers|
With starting setter Jesse Moracz already out of the lineup due to injury, the Westlake volleyball team was already up against it.
When middle hitter Lexi Schmidt left the match with an ankle injury early in the second set, things couldn’t have gotten much worse for the Demons. With state qualifier Brecksville on the other side of the net, the task was already tough enough.
But despite the holes in their lineup, the Demons fought the Bees down to the wire...
Rangers, Pirates finish behind Shoregals at Invite|
With just two full time starters back from last year’s squad, the Rocky River volleyball team is learning on the fly as the 2011 season unfolds.
Lakewood, with four sophomores and a freshman on their roster, looked to be a notch ahead of the Pirates Saturday at the Rocky River Invitational. The Rangers, behind the outside hitting of Elizabeth Spellacy and Danielle Witri, nipped the Pirates in the semifinals and advanced to the championship match.
Demons, Tolman outlast Eagles in five-set victory|
Thursday night’s Southwestern Conference volleyball match between Westlake and North Olmsted featured two teams looking for consistency in their respective games.
Today, both teams are continuing that search.
As it turned out, a five-play onslaught by Westlake’s Johanna Tolman in the fifth set made the difference. That brought the Demons back from an 8-3 deficit...
Streaks open with three-set victory over Panthers|
Early in the preseason, Magnificat volleyball head coach Mike Cannon felt his defense was going to make a difference this season.
But if Saturday was any indication, the Blue Streaks’ offense will be will be a difference maker as well.
Junior outside hitter Cayley Balser pounded out 13 kills, while seniors Clare Schirmer and Madalyn Koz combined for another 16 as Magnificat got past visiting Pickerington North 25-20, 25-15, 25-23 in the 2011 season opener.
Defense to bolster Blue Streaks' 2011 season|
Year after year, the Magnificat volleyball program has been known for its talent along the net.
And while that probably won’t change during the upcoming 2011 season, it’s the Blue Streaks’ defense that has head coach Mike Cannon excited.