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    Independence sweeps way to Renee Roche Invitational title


    Ranked No. 8 in the latest Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches’ Association state poll, the Independence volleyball team is playing with a lot of confidence. It also is on quite the winning streak.

    The Blue Devils swept Buckeye, Willoughby South and St. Joseph Academy on Saturday to iwin the 2014 Renee Roche Invitational in their home gym. Independence improved to 13-0 on the year and has won 13 straight matches.

    Independence beat St. Joseph Academy, 25-21, 25-14, to win the tournament title.

    “We played another solid match,” said Independence head coach Megan Osysko, who led the Blue Devils to the regional finals last year in her first season guiding her alma mater. “Our serve receive improved from earlier matches in the day and Hallie (Zumack) did a nice job distributing the ball. St. Joes was a scrappy team, but when we forced them to cross paths with their teammates we scored points.”

    Buckeye and Willoughby South didn’t have any more luck against the host Blue Devils.

    Independence opened the tournament with a 25-12, 25-12 win over Buckeye and advanced to the championship match with a 25-9, 25-18 over South.

    St. Joseph Academy defeated Bay (25-15, 25-18) in the first round and Revere (19-25, 25-15, 25-20) in the second round.

    Megan Screptock led Independence with 12 kills against St. Joseph Academy. Mallory Trombetta led the Blue Devils with 15 digs and Zumack finished with 28 assists in leading the Blue Devils to the tournament championship on their home court.

    “It is exciting to be tournament champs on your home court and I’m proud of the team for rising to another challenging occasion of the season,” Osysko said.

    Screptock and Zumack landed on the all-tournament team. Willoughby South’s Jillian Livorse, St. Joseph Academy’s Kira Rogozinski and Bay’s McKenna Coyle also earned all-tournament honors. Revere’s Stephanie Bierman was named tournament MVP.

    Full Tournament Results:

    Round 1:
    Match 1: Independence def. Buckeye, 25-15, 25-12
    Match 2: Revere def. North Olmsted, 25-11, 25-21
    Match 3: St. Joseph Academy def. Bay, 25-15, 25-18
    Match 4: Willoughby South def. Normandy, 25-9, 25-23

    Round 2:
    Match 5: Independence def. Willoughby South, 25-9, 25-18
    Match 6: St. Joseph Academy def. Revere, 19-25, 25-15, 25-20
    Match 7: Buckeye def. Normandy, 25-23, 25-14
    Match 8: Bay def. North Olmsted, 25-16, 25-27, 25-17

    Round 3:
    Match 9: Independence def. St. Joseph Academy, 25-21, 25-14
    Match 10: Revere def. Willoughby South, 25-23, 25-18
    Match 11: Bay def. Buckeye vs. Bay, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17
    Match 12: Normandy def. North Olmsted, 25-18, 25-21

    Final Team Standings:

    1. Independence (3-0)
    2. St. Joseph Academy (2-1)
    3. Revere (2-1)
    4. Willoughby South (1-2)
    5. Bay (2-1)
    6. Buckeye (1-2)
    7. Normandy (1-2)
    8. North Olmsted (0-3) 

    Steve Hare
    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.
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