Kirtland entered Tuesday’s Chagrin Valley Conference showdown at Berkshire needing a signature victory to add to its four-game winning streak.
The Hornets delivered with a 25-23, 25-18, 25-13 upset of the Badgers.
“To go into Berkshire’s gym on senior night is difficult to begin with,” said Kirtland coach Bob Schenosky. “Couple that with a fundamentally solid team, we were facing a tall task but the girls did an excellent job and played an excellent match.”
Kirtland’s win over Berkshire was its first since the 2013 season.
“It was awesome to beat them for the first time since (2013) and it felt great to do it on their home court,” said senior Nicole Aveni, who led the Hornets with 15 digs. “I think this game really proved what we are capable of and it showed how we were able to play together.”
Katherine Skrbis recorded seven kills, eight digs and four aces for the Hornets while Abby Ruckel pitched in with 15 assists, four aces and four kills and Erin Koschik finished with 12 assists, seven digs and four blocks. Laura Koschik added eight kills, seven digs and three blocks and Lilly Kelemen had six blocks and seven kills in nine attempts. Stella DeJohn recorded four kills and three blocks in the win, which was the fifth straight for the Hornets.
“The girls are continuing to build on the recent run of solid games,” Schenosky said. “All facets of our game were sound and our net play was the best of the season with every front row player accounting for at least a couple of blocks.”
Kirtland opened the match with a high level of intensity and only got stronger as the match went on.
“We knew it would not be easy to beat them, so to come out strong and beat them in three it truly boosted our confidence heading into playoffs,” Aveni said. “For me, I was really trying to focus on staying positive the whole game and I tried to dig as many balls as I could.”
Madison Chapman led the Badgers with 12 kills and added three blocks. Jessica McKinney finished with a team-high four blocks for Berkshire and Delaney Tucek posted a team-high 20 digs.
The Hornets close out the regular season on Thursday against Richmond Heights while Berkshire travels to Cuyahoga Heights on Thursday and hosts Riverside on Saturday.