Friday, June 2
    HomeWestern Reserve ConferenceNorthNorth outlasts Wickliffe

    North outlasts Wickliffe


    North opened the season with an exciting 3-2 win at Wickliffe on Thursday but the Rangers were just excited to play after a tumultuous offseason and the constant threat of having their season wiped out by the Coronavirus.

    “Getting on the court, surreal,” North coach Tamara Heller said. “There was so much build up and uncertainly leading up to the season, all summer, etc., so simply getting the secure opportunity to lace up our shoes and get out there and compete was enough to bring me as a coach to tears. I know how hard they’ve worked this offseason so even to get at least one opportunity to play. “We’re grateful.”

    The Rangers won the first set 25-23 but Wickliffe rallied to win the second, 21-25.

    North responded with a 25-22 win in the third but couldn’t put away the Blue Devils and dropped the fourth set, 25-22.

    A 15-9 win in the decisive fifth set ended the match.

    “We had a goal of winning the serve and passing game and making sure we stay in system to set our hitters,” said senior Adri George, who recorded a whopping 52 assists with two service aces. “Coach also told us to win mini-games to five and that is something I felt really helped us push through the last couple of sets. Everyone before the game said play every game like it’s your last and I went out there and that’s what I intended on doing for myself and my team.”

    Abby Carter led the Rangers with 15 kills and three blocks. Alison Schimmels added 13 kills and Kaitlyn Mastroianni added 12 kills and three service aces. Katie Alexander contributed with eight kills and an ace and Emily Zaleski finished with three kills and three aces.

    “Adri George and Abby Carter came out and did exactly what we needed out of them as seniors,” Heller said. “Their chemistry together as setter and hitter is fun to watch, but also, their energy and leadership showed their teammates the standard they expect on game day.”

    Freshman libero Breonna Preston started and battled through three JV games then contributed to the varsity’s win.

    “She’s a competitor,” Heller said. “Her grit is something that you cannot coach. She just has it and it’s very exciting to see as a coach. She’s got a bright future ahead of her as an athlete.”

    North has a quick turnaround to clean up their mistakes from their first match as they host Geneva on Monday.

    “The focus going into Monday is clean up our serve receive,” Heller said. “We’re a smaller team. We don’t have 6-foot hitters, which is fine, but we have to be able to keep ourselves in system as much as possible to give our hitters a chance to put the ball away. When we’re in system, we have a lot to potential to compete in our conference.”

    Kate Roach led Wickliffe with 15 kills and three aces. Giovanna Farmer added 26 assists, 13 digs and four aces and Katie Nemeth finished with 17 digs and eight assists. Megan Latkovich pitched in with 18 digs and Isabella DeVincentis recorded eight kills for the Blue Devils.

    “These Wickliffe girls played great,” said Wickliffe coach Anthony Mezacapa. “We have work to do on serve receive and running a faster offense, but watching them improve every day is amazing.”

    Mezacapa is in his first season guiding the Blue Devils but he’s seen rapid improvement out of his players.

    “I cannot wait to see where these girls are toward the middle of the season,” Mezacapa said. “They are working so hard to improve every day. We put up such a good fight against a good team in Eastlake North.”

    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.
    - Advertisment -

    Latest News

    Ohio Varsity Softball Player of the Year Finalists

    The 2023 Ohio Varsity Softball Player of the Year finalists have been selected with the winner being announced at the Ohio Varsity All-Star Classic on June 22 at Mentor High School.