Wednesday, September 28

    Independence edges Tuscarawas Central Catholic in five sets

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    For the second time in four days, Independence needed all five sets to extend its regular-season winning streak to 34 straight games.

    The Blue Devils edged host Tuscarawas Central Catholic on Saturday, 25-16, 15-25, 25-21, 22-25, 15-5.

    “It was very exciting to get that win today,” said junior Emily Richards. “It definitely served as a confidence boost and showed us what we are capable of. Overall, we are a very young team and it’s still early in the season, but I’m eager to see how much more we will grow as a team.”

    Independence beat Avon in five sets on Wednesday and then swept league rival Richmond Heights in straight sets on Thursday.

    “The win against Avon was a great start to our week,” Richards said. “Avon is a really good team and they were a test for us and we all came together, giving 100-percent effort to pull out that win. Every game presents new challenges, but beating a team like Avon in five helped prepare us for today’s game. Mentally it made all of us realize it was possible for us to secure a win, even in those long, five-set matches.”

    All three of Tuscarawas Central Catholic’s losses this season have come in five sets. The Saints dropped to 3-3 after losing to Independence on Saturday.

    “The key to our win today was effort,” Richards said. “TCC was a very good team with some strong hitters and an active back row; the only way we were going to win was with all-out effort. We needed every position to make big plays on the defensive side and when we got those balls up we had to work together as a team to find open court so we could score. Without every position doing their part, the outcome today could have been very different, but we were able to push through. I am very proud of what our team accomplished today.”

    Independence improved to 6-0 overall. The Blue Devils host Brooklyn on Tuesday.



    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, 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, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the 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.



    Kirtland winning streak reaches 11 after sweep at Crestwood

    Kirtland’s winning streak reached 11 straight matches after a 3-0 sweep at Crestwood on Thursday.