INDEPENDENCE—In a rematch of a Division III regional semifinal, Independence swept Kirtland on Tuesday in the season opener for both teams.
The Blue Devils, who swept the Hornets at regionals last November, won the match, 25-13, 25-12, 25-13.
Independence senior Hanna Wilson, who missed the 2020 season with an injury, made a triumphant return to the court with a few early kills to spark the Blue Devils. Senior Callie Prokopius and junior Grace Taliaferro also had big nights for the Blue Devils while freshman Aubrey Anders sparkled in her high school debut.
Defensively, Macy McNamara was sharp in chasing down loose balls. Senior setter Abby Avila keyed the Independence offense with clutch sets to her hitters.
Kirtland played without standout hitter Natalie Glowe, who is expected back on the court this week.
Nina Loncar led the Hornets with eight kills while Ava Golem posted a team-high 15 digs and Katie Reynolds led the team with 12 assists. Stella DeJohn recorded two aces in the setback.
“It wasn’t ideal for us to start the season with this team and the loss on our record but I think it’s a really good opportunity for us to point out the things we need to work on and since it’s so early on in the season we have a lot of time to do that,” said Kirtland coach Arlayna Newcomer. “Obviously, that wasn’t the outcome we were looking for but if we can learn from it, that’s all that matters at the end of the day.”