INDEPENDENCE—A bit of history was made as Independence cruised to a 3-0 win over visiting Louisville in its inaugural boys’ volleyball match on Wednesday.
The Blue Devils beat the Leopards, 25-23, 25-13, and 25-18.
“It was really exciting,” said Independence coach Lexi Prokopius, a 2019 graduate of Independence who led the girls’ volleyball team to three state Final Fours. “Just being back in this gym as a coach now is really exciting, and sweeping our first game was just crazy.”
Prokopius has worked to turn the Blue Devils into a cohesive unit on the volleyball court.
Her job was made easier by the fact most of the Blue Devils compete in other sports at the school, but that brought with it some other challenges.
“They are all athletes in other sports, so they brought in all of the things that they learned in their other sports so trying to get rid of that and clearing their mind and getting their volleyball skills on point was probably the most challenging,” she said.
The Blue Devils used the first set to settle into their game plan and to shake off those first-match nerves.
Once they won the first set, their confidence grew and they dominated the final two sets.
“I honestly think our passing probably saved us a lot,” Prokopius said. “Everyone did really good our serving like (Braeden Lisowski) with the serving was crazy.”
Lisowski recorded a team-high five service aces and Landon Jatsek and Wyatt Snyder each finished the match with two.
Snyder led the team with five kills and Jatsek, who was named All-Ohio in basketball earlier in the day, finished with four.
“When they get that technique down, I’m going to be blown away,” Prokopius said of Snyder and Jatsek. “Wyatt is already consistent as a hitter, so once he learns to find the court a little more he’ll be amazing. It’s the same thing with Landon. When he gets the right set and the right timing, he’s going to hit the 10-foot line every time and I’m here for it.”
Sonny Sears posted a team-high nine digs while Cubby Tripodi finished with four and Khalil McDonald and Lisowski each added two.
Joey Spacagna contributed to the win with five kills and Jatsek led the team with a pair of blocks. Tripodi finished the match with 10 assists.
The Blue Devils travel to Nordonia on Friday.