Wednesday, June 29

    Kirtland pushed to limit in sweep at Berkshire

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    Kirtland left Berkshire on Thursday with a 3-0 sweep of the Badgers but it didn’t come easily.

    The Hornets won the match 25-20, 25-23, 25-23.

    “We know every time we play Berkshire it’s going to be a tough and competitive game, especially at their place,” said Kirtland coach Arlayna Newcomer. “The girls stayed composed and confident when the game was tight and it really shows our growth from the beginning of the season.”

    Kirtland now has won four straight matches over their Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division rivals dating back to the 2018-2019 season.

    “We came into the match all positive, all wanting to keep each other up, being supportive, playing hard, forgetting the last play, and being best for the next one,” said Kirtland’s Georgia DeJohn, who finished with a team-high 12 kills. “I came in wanting to stay positive and lead by example. I really tried this game to communicate with my setters and the rest of the team almost every point.”

    Katie Reynolds contributed to the win with 12 assists, Nina Alfieri posted three service aces, and Ava Golem recorded a team-high 18 digs.

    “Ava has really stepped up as a leader and captain on the team this year, both on and off the court,” Newcomer said. “Georgia did a really good job tonight across the board. Her whole game was solid from her serve receive to her offense.”

    Kirtland improved to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in league play.

    The Hornets have won three straight matches since opening the year with a loss at defending Division III state champion Independence.

    “These past two weeks, we have really connected with each other better because we have learned to trust each other more,” DeJohn said. “We also have been cheering for each other after big plays and it’s made us significantly closer. Our improvement in communication has also played a big role.”

    Maddie Smetana led Berkshire with 16 kills and she also recorded 10 digs, two blocks, and four service points. Sierra Berman added five kills, 10 digs, and three points. Sammi Winter led the Badgers with 13 assists and she also contributed with 10 digs, and Maddy Triskett finished with 11 assists, nine digs, and four service points.

    Berkshire dropped to 3-2, 1-2.

    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.