MIDDLEFIELD—It took two days and two separate gymnasiums for Cardinal to defeat rival Berkshire, 3-2.
The Huskies and Badgers began the match on Tuesday but when the court became unplayable due to moisture were forced to postpone the conclusion until Wednesday.
“Tonight was the most intense night of my coaching career,” said Cardinal coach Karisca Chambers. “I couldn’t be more proud of this coaching staff and team. Everyone worked hard and pulled out this tough win.”
The Huskies won the match 26-24, 13-25, 25-21, 20-25, 18-16 to clinch a series sweep of the Badgers for the first time since under Chambers.
Cardinal also took a two-game lead in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division with five league games left to play.
“Berkshire came out and gave us a battle, but we came out on top,” Chambers said. “To be in first place in the CVC feels great. It’s about time. These seniors were my freshmen when I started here at Cardinal and this has been a huge goal for them as well as myself.”
Play resumed on Wednesday with the match tied at 1-1 and the Huskies leading the third set, 15-12.
Kayla Dingman recorded three aces to give the Badgers an 18-17 lead but the Huskies rebounded and pulled out the win to take a 2-1 lead.
The final two sets were just as intense.
Cardinal held match point, 14-11, in the fifth set but the Badgers stormed back to tie it at 14-14. The Huskies held on to win their first home match against their rivals in four years.
“I wasn’t really sure how the focus would be after the game delay, but I was impressed how the girls came out and started off strong,” Chambers said. “I’m so excited for these seniors. I know this has been something they’ve wanted for a very long time and to see the tears of joy in their eyes and everyone’s eyes really touched my heart. To be able to beat Berkshire twice in conference play and finally beat them on our home court is something I will never forget and I know the girls won’t either. The past years that I coached, we lost every match to them at home. I think that fueled our fire and helped us get pumped up to have something to prove. It’s all about pride and we have a ton of it.”
Camille Cummins led the Huskies with 14 kills and also contributed with 15 digs.
“This win was huge for our team,” Cummins said. “We really wanted to win the CVC outright and this puts on track to do so. It really boosts our confidence heading into the end of the seasons and was a great team win. For us seniors, tonight was huge. Since I was a freshman I have dreamed about sweeping Berkshire and hopefully earning a conference title.”
Kaylee Klepper pitched in with 11 kills, Ashley Gubanyar and Taylor Soltis led the Huskies with 18 digs and Alaina Strever finished with 10. Faith Peters posted a team-high three blocks and also finished with five digs. Andrea Mack recorded four digs and two blocks and Jessie Proch pitched in with six digs.
Haley Domen led the Huskies with 28 assists and five aces and also had six kills.
“Tonight, key players stepped up to make some big plays,” Chambers said. “The girls, coaching staff and community at Cardinal are flying high right now. I told the girls to soak in this moment. They deserve it.”
Madison Chapman led Berkshire with 14 kills and also finished 14 digs, eight service points and six aces. Delaney Tucek added 12 service points, eight aces, seven kills and seven digs for the Badgers and Julia Castor posted 17 points, eight aces, nine kills and four digs.