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    Kirtland clinches Valley Division title

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    Kirtland held off a scrappy Berkshire team to clinch the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division title on Tuesday.

    The Hornets defeated the Badgers 25-18, 25-23, 23-25, 25-21 to improve to 17-1 overall and 9-0 in league play. Berkshire dropped to 13-6, 7-2.

    “Tonight wasn’t our best night, and Berkshire made it tough for us to come away with a win, but the girls picked it up in the important moment and I’m happy to see the team secure another conference title,” said Kirtland coach Arlayna Newcomer.

    With the win, Kirtland extended its conference winning streak to 26 straight matches and improved to 35-3 in league play over the past four seasons, all culminating in a conference title.

    The Hornets have now beaten Berkshire in nine straight meetings and have swept the Badgers in four straight seasons.

    “The girls came out strong in the first set but became complacent in sets two and three,” Newcomer said. “What was most important for us tonight was to re-center ourselves and focus on our goals after having a mid-game slump.”

    Natalie Glowe led the Hornets with 19 kills and six blocks. Nina Loncar added 12 kills, Ava Golem posted 47 digs, Katie Reynolds and Georgia DeJohn both finished with two service aces and Reynolds added 37 assists. Tessa Gordon led the Hornets with 12 digs.

    The Hornets, who have won five straight matches since a three-set loss to Lake Catholic, the top-ranked team in Division III, host Lutheran West on Thursday.

    Kirtland has four regular-season matches remaining on its schedule and then the Hornets will turn their attention to the postseason.

    After winning back-to-back district titles, the Hornets hope to take the next step and win a regional title.

    Newcomer beefed up the schedule to prepare her squad for that challenge.

    “I prefer we play more challenging games during the regular season so we are ready for it during the postseason,” she said. “If everything is a cakewalk, we’re not going to get better.”

     

     

     

    Steve Hare
    Steve Harehttps://www.ohiovarsity.com
    The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, 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 IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com 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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