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    Kirtland overcomes slow start to sweep Crestwood

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    Kirtland overcame a slow start to sweep host Crestwood in a Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division showdown on Thursday.

    The Hornets won the first set 26-24 and then cruised to 25-18 and 25-20 wins to seal their victory.

    “The issue with the first set was the lack of energy and desire to win,” said Kirtland senior Katie Reynolds. “We need to bring our best efforts and get excited for every play all the time. Talking after the first set, we realized that we weren’t cheering nearly enough, and to win we need to really want it. We made the changes and came back strongly in the next sets.”

    Reynolds recorded 17 assists in her second match since suffering a concussion in a win at Berkshire on Sept. 12. She missed six matches including the rematch against the Badgers. Berkshire won that match to leave the Hornets and Badgers tied for first place in the Valley Division standings.

    “It’s been unfortunate to miss so many matches my senior year, but I’m thrilled to be back,” Reynolds said.

    The Hornets are happy she’s back as well and the offense is even more potent with her and Alexis Schaffer distributing the ball at the setter position.

    Schaffer finished with 18 assists.

    “The offense is going great,” Reynolds said. “With a lot of talented hitters, we’re trying to move the ball around and run different plays, as we’re a stronger team when we do that. The faster and smarter the offense is, the more games we’ll win.”

    Nina Loncar led the Hornets with 16 kills and Isabella Schulz posted nine kills. Schaffer and Sophia Wojnar led the Hornets with three service aces each, and Keely Young posted a team-best eight blocks. Nina Alfieri led the Hornets with 20 digs.

    Kirtland and Berkshire both are 7-1 in conference play with two matches remaining. If both win out, they’ll share the conference title.

    “The team wants the conference more than anything, especially our large group of seniors,” Reynolds said. “After winning the past three titles, we wouldn’t want to give up so close to the end. We’re working hard in our last conference games to make sure we secure our part of the title.”

    Kirtland hosts Beachwood on Tuesday and closes out league play with a home match against Grand Valley on Thursday. Berkshire hosts Grand Valley on Tuesday and closes out CVC play at Crestwood on Thursday.

     

    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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