Friday, December 9

    North edges Mayfield for first 4-0 start in two decades

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    EASTLAKE–North edged Mayfield in five sets on Tuesday in the Western Reserve Conference opener for both teams.

    The Rangers won the match 25-23, 17-25, 25-14, 21-25, 15-12, to improve to 4-0 on the season for the first time in over two decades.

    “That was so exciting,” said North coach Tamara Heller. “I keep telling them that we’ve put in a lot of work and we’ve done a lot to get to this point and I truly believe that they deserve it. We deserve to be battling for one of the top three spots in the conference and I believe that’s a realistic goal for us.”

    North outdueled Mayfield in the first set that saw several lead changes and no team holding more than a three-point advantage. The Wildcats did the same in the second set to tie the match at 1-1.

    The Rangers imposed their will in the third set and built a double-digit lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

    Mayfield fought off elimination to win the fourth set and set up the decisive fifth game.

    “We’ve emphasized mental toughness but our experience also helped,” Heller said of her team’s ability to pull out the five-set win. “In years past, we were putting a lot of young kids on the court without a lot of experience. Last year, we had five sophomores in the starting lineup and now they’re juniors and I’m confident with what they’re doing and that experience helps because they’ve seen that type of pressure situation before and they’re more confident in those moments.”

    Jaiden Anderson led the way for the Rangers.

    She recorded 37 assists in engineering an offense that saw three hitters finished with eight or more kills. Anderson also recorded seven kills of her own.

    Madi Jablonski recorded 10 kills and three blocks, both team-highs, and Shaena Brooks added nine kills, 11 digs, and two blocks. Cami Welty contributed with eight kills and a pair of blocks.

    “I give a lot of credit to our setter (Anderson),” Heller said. “It’s a hard job being a setter and understanding how to run an offense. Those numbers, having equal attempts between three or four hitters, is big and it sets us up for success because if we have just one hitter the team that scouts us is going to try to shut that girl down. But, if we can spread it out, we can be an unstoppable team.”

    Samantha Cantrell added 10 digs and three service aces.

    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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