Rebels battle back for win against rival North

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South 3, North 2

PAINESVILLE—The third matchup between Western Reserve Conference rivals North and South figured to be a back and forth affair, considering each team entered the third-place match at Riverside with a win on its home court.

Instead, North dominated the first two games, 25-13 and 25-9, and was well on its way to winning the season series. The Rebels had other ideas and came from behind to win three straight and the match, 25-13, 25-20, 15-8.

“After set two we did a gut check,” said South coach Bill Behrend. “Going in, we knew it was a mental game. Rivals, playing for the third time, last match of the season, it was time to lay it all on the line. We switched our lineup to try to expose some matchups. It worked.”

Brenna Yerse led the Rebels with 11 kills while Margo Huff pitched in with 10. Mya Matriano posted a team-high 28 digs and Sarah Miozzi led South with 40 assists.

“A win like this sets us up for the postseason in a huge way,” Behrend said. “Down 0-2 and able to battle back, that is huge for us. Now we know what we are capable of.”

The Rebels, who finished 14-8, earned the No. 3 seed in the Division I Euclid District and will play the winner of the Mayfield-Shaker Heights match in a sectional final on Oct. 21.

After getting off to a great start, North couldn’t keep the momentum going in the final three sets.

The Rangers will use this loss as motivation for the playoffs.

“This game really taught us the importance of staying focused the whole time and that any team can beat another team on any given day,” said North coach Chelsey Regovich. “They all learned a great lesson tonight, now it’s time to take what they learned and bring the focus to each set we play in the playoffs. We need to have that mindset.”

Lindsey Mausser led North with 15 kills and seven blocks while Samantha Pirosko recorded 14 kills and a team-high 24 digs. Jill Borthwick pitched in with 22 digs and Taylor Valaitis led the Rangers with 18 assists.

No. 4 North plays No. 13 Shaw in a sectional semifinal at Euclid on Oct. 17.

 

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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.