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    Blue Devils tested in fourth place finish at Rene Roche Invitational


    Independence’s volleyball team was disappointed in its fourth place finish at the 2015 Rene Roche Invitational on Saturday but the Blue Devils are better for competing against some of the better teams in the area.

    The Blue Devils opened the tournament on their home court with a 2-0 win over Bay then fell to Riverside, 2-1, in the semifinals and 2-0 to St. Joseph Academy in the third place match.

    “These are the teams we need to play to be at the level we want to be at toward the end of the year,” said Independence coach Megan Osysko. “They were definitely tough matches. I wish we could play matches like that every time. We have to play those opponents and learn from them in order for us to grow.”

    Heading into the tournament, Independence had swept six of its previous eight opponents and had lost just four of 25 sets played.

    Things were different on Saturday as the level of competition increased.

    “We were back and forth with Riverside the whole match,” Osysko said. “We hung with them and played great defense. There were a lot of volleys back and forth but when it came to closing out the matches, that’s where we fell through.”

    Emily Magas, who was named Ward’s Lawn Care and Landscape Co. Player of the Week for her efforts the previous week, recorded 26 kills in the three matches.

    “Overall, Magas had a great day,” Osysko said. “She was really swinging on the outside really hard. I’m proud of her for that. She also played some great defense for us as well.”

    Maura Collins recorded 32 kills and 38 digs while Hallie Zumack added 62 assists and 18 kills on the day.

    “Maura had a great day,” Osysko said. “Really our two outsides (hitters) held us in a lot of the matches. Hallie continues to lead the team as best she can.”

    Mallory Trombetta contributed with 37 digs and Lexi Prokopius scored eight serving aces.

    The Blue Devils, who are 8-3 on the year, host Gilmour Academy, the state’s top-ranked Division III team, on Wednesday.

    Steve Hare
    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.
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