Wednesday, May 18

    Blue Devils roll over Comets

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    Independence’s winning streak reached five straight matches on Wednesday as the Blue Devils rolled over visiting Solon, 25-10, 25-13, 25-16.

    “The key for us to come together and get these wins was we are staying focused and every day in practice we work hard and push each other to be the best players,” said senior setter Abby Avila.

    Avila has been instrumental in spreading the ball to all of the hitters in Independence’s potent attack.

    “My approach for the offense tonight was to spread the ball around to get their defense off,” Avila said. “I also wanted to get a better connection with all my hitters and I think we achieved that goal. Most of the time our hitters had only one blocker, sometimes even none. I couldn’t have done that without the great passing I had.”

    While Avila handled her business in distributing the ball, her teammates took care of the rest.

    “We all realize the importance of a great first pass and really work hard on that in practice,” said junior Sammy Barther. “This allows our setter to have flexibility at the net, which makes us less predictable to the defense.”

    Barther keyed Independence’s attack against the Comets.

    “I think I had success with moving the ball around and attacking hard,” she said. “In the back row, I had some good touches as we are getting fluid in our defensive patterns.”

    The Blue Devils, who improved to 5-0, host Brooklyn on Thursday.

    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.