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    Hornets close out regular season with 21 straight wins

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    With a 3-0 sweep of host Crestwood on Tuesday, Kirtland closed out the regular season with 21 straight wins.

    The Hornets opened the season with a 3-0 loss at defending Division III state runner-up Independence on Aug. 24 but haven’t lost since in improving to 21-1 with a school record for wins in a single season.

    “I am so incredibly proud of this team,” said Kirtland coach Arlayna Newcomer. “They are the epitome of hard work, dedication, and drive.”

    Kirtland finished 17-7 last season with its second straight Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division title. The Hornets, who previously won conference titles in 1983 and 2011, have now won three straight league championships under Newcomer.

    Kirtland’s impressive 21-match winning streak was in jeopardy at times, but the Hornets rallied on multiple occasions to keep it alive. The Hornets won 60 of 70 sets played during the regular season with two five-set wins over quality opponents.

    “We’ve had highs and lows throughout the season,” Newcomer said. “We faced some serious adversity and ultimately became better because of it.”

    Tuesday’s win followed the same recipe the Hornets used to win 21 straight matches.

    Each player contributed and played her role to lead the team to 25-12, 25-20, 25-12 victory.

    Katie Reynolds recorded 26 assists, Ava Golem posted 23 digs and three service aces, Georgia DeJohn contributed with 11 kills and Stella DeJohn added four blocks.

    Kirtland now will turn its attention to the postseason with the hopes of defending its district championship.

    The Hornets earned the second seed and will host the winner of the match between No. 18 Campbell Memorial and No. 19 Hanover United in a sectional final on Oct. 21.

    “We’re looking forward to a competitive postseason,” Newcomer said.

     

    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, 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 IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com 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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