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MIDDLEFIELD–With a 3-2 win at Cardinal on Saturday, Kirtland’s volleyball team won the first Division III district championship in school history.

The third-seeded Hornets, who won a Division IV district title back in 2010, beat the second-seeded Huskies, 25-23, 15-25, 21-25, 25-18, 15-11.

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After splitting the first two sets, Kirtland jumped out to a 13-6 in the third set but the Huskies rallied back to win the set, 25-21, despite losing senior libero Alaina Strever to an injury.

That forced the Hornets to battle back with their season on the line.

Kirtland won the fourth set and then took early control of the decisive fifth set. The Hornets, who improved to 17-6, led 11-5 before Cardinal pulled to within 13-11. Kirtland won the final two points to seal its historic win.

The Hornets advanced to Thursday’s regional semifinals at Barberton where they will play Chagrin Valley Conference rival Independence.

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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.