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Bears defeat Mustangs, claim share of NOC crown

North Royalton\'s Katie Baird had a message for the rest of the state, and for the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division in particular, following a four-set win at home over Strongsville. \"This shows we\'re no average public school that can beat a couple teams,\" Baird said. \"We\'re the real deal.\" Playing in their last volleyball match in the NOC, Baird and the Bears beat the reigning champion Mustangs 25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 25-23 Thursday night to grab a share of the final Valley Division crown with Brunswick. The two teams split their regular-season series. The Blue Devils, now 19-2...    (4154 reads)

Determined Royalton cools off red-hot Brunswick

Katie Baird admitted to fidgeting in class on Thursday. For the North Royalton junior, it wasn\'t about getting outside to enjoy one of the few remaining nice days of the year in Ohio. Instead, it was about heading into her own gymnasium as an outside hitter for the Bears volleyball team. Wanting to stay relevant in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division will do that to a competitor. But wanting to avenge a four-set loss to Brunswick earlier in the year meant even more to the outside hitter...    (4049 reads)

Royalton spikers fight off Strongsville's challenge

Postseason play for high school volleyball is a month away, but someone must have told North Royalton and Strongsville\'s teams otherwise as the neighboring rivals duked it out like their seasons were on the line in their most recent Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division showdown. Katie Baird\'s decisive match point in Game 4 earned the Bears the hard-fought victory. After falling to the host Mustangs 26-28 in the first game, North Royalton battled back with sets of 25-19, 25-20 and 29-27. \"Every time we play Strongsville, you never know how things will go,\" Bears coach Kristin Hubbell said. \"It doesn\'t matter who\'s having a great season, who\'s not. We get together, and it\'s just a highly emotional match. \"It\'s a battle every time we play,\" she said. The long-standing foes often reserve their most intense encounters each season for the sectional or district tournament. Last year, the Mustangs outlasted North Royalton down the stretch and was...    (4289 reads)

Bears fight off determined Bees, remain unbeaten

There\'s a fire that burns in North Royalton\'s volleyball team. It\'s a passion that glows every time the Bears need it. That fire showed on Tuesday night during a 25-23, 25-9, 24-26, 25-17 Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division road win against a very competitive Medina squad. With the win, the Bears remained undefeated on the season. Whenever the Bees (4-2, 0-2) pushed the Bears, the visitors answered with authority in what was a very entertaining match. Of course being ranked sixth in Division I in the state coaches poll means everyone is going to give them their \"A\" game. Medina did that much of the time in the four-set thriller. \"It kind of shows we can\'t underestimate teams,\" said Bears libero Allison Baird, who registered 27 digs. \"That will help us for the future when come tournament time...    (3943 reads)

Fired up Blue Devil spikers sweep past rival Bees

Brunswick\'s volleyball team can\'t help itself. When it sees green, it sees red as well. Defending Northeast Conference Valley Division champ Strongsville and North Royalton can wait. When it\'s a league match with Medina, the Blue Devils go out of their mind to make sure they win. Some of the 25-18, 25-16, 25-18 win over the Bees on Thursday might be attributed to the fact Brunswick lost both times it faced Medina last season. Some of it might also have to do with the fact the state Route 42 rivalry means just a little bit more to both teams. \"It fires us up,\" Blue Devils middle hitter Julia Holden said. \"We have a really big rivalry. Whenever we hear the name or see the colors, we get fired up and want to get on the floor...    (4463 reads)

Bulldogs shake off slow start to fight past Jaguars

The way St. Joseph Academy and Olmsted Falls battled in their five-set volleyball match Thursday night, it was a shame one team had to be tagged with a loss. The host Bulldogs came from behind after a sluggish first set to defeat the Jaguars, 13-25, 25-14, 25-22, 16-25, 15-13, in nonconference action. \"It\'s a sign of a good team,\" said Olmsted Falls head coach Dawn Moses, whose team is now 8-1 on the season. \"When you\'re not playing well, you can still pull it out. I don\'t think we did much in Game 1 but I think after that we were able to adjust,\" she said. From the outside looking in...    (5710 reads)

Shoregals work fast and furious in win over Titans

The Avon Lake and Berea-Midpark volleyball teams have two of the youngest rosters in the Southwestern Conference. With just five seniors in both starting lineups combined, there\'s a lot of learning going on during these early-season matches. But Tuesday night, it was evident the two squads were at different points on that learning curve. The Shoregals, playing at a faster pace offensively, shook off some early mistakes and rolled to a 25-20, 25-13, 25-13 win over the visiting Titans. With the win, Avon Lake continued its strong start in the SWC at 3-0. Berea-Midpark, playing just its third match and without 6-3 sophomore setter Maggie Nedoma, fell to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference. Avon Lake, coming off a thrilling 5-set win over Brecksville, jumped out to...    (6321 reads)

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