STOW: Hudson volleyball coach Jessica Ciborek has a baby boy and a Division I district championship to celebrate this weekend.
Ciborek delivered her first child Wednesday and then her Explorers team won a district title Thursday at Stow under the guidance of interim coach Annie Pinegar.
No. 2 seed Kent Roosevelt proved to be a tough opponent Thursday, but No. 1 seed Hudson won in three sets by scores of 25-18, 26-24 and 29-27.
“This has been a gift of a week,” Hudson senior Krissy Mummey said. “It has been so exciting, not only for Jess, but for our team. Just a successful week all the way around.”
Mummey helped the Explorers (19-6) beat the Rough Riders (22-3) by spiking down 12 kills. She also finished with 14 service points and blocked six shots.
Hudson advances to play in a regional semifinal at home Wednesday against Wadsworth.
“This is crazy,” Hudson senior Celia Cristofoli said. “We had it set in our goals at the beginning of the year that we wanted to make it to the district final. We made it, and now we won and we are moving on. The feeling of knowing that we get to play at home on Wednesday feels amazing. I am so excited to be on our home court.”
Ciborek coached Hudson to a district semifinal win over Walsh Jesuit on Tuesday while pregnant. The birth of her boy naturally caused her to miss Thursday’s match, but Pinegar and assistants Anne Boswell and Lauren Corsillo had the Explorers ready.
“Jess and I have been preparing for this game all season,” Pinegar said. “It wasn’t like it was a big shocker. We knew the baby was coming. It was inevitable. We were ready and our team was ready.”
The teams were tied at 11-11 in both set one and set two, but Hudson pulled ahead. Roosevelt held a 24-22 lead in set three, but was unable to finish to hold it.
“Kent Roosevelt came out and played a really good match,” Pinegar said. “They played good volleyball, and in the end, I just told the girls to just focus on our side and do what we need to do and play our game. That is what they did.”
Hudson junior Jordan Mackay had 14 kills and two blocks. Sophomore Amanda Przybocki had 34 assists. Juniors Sarah Young and Gina Holland both had eight digs.
“Everyone played there position and we are so excited to see how far we can get,” Mackay said.
Senior Cortnee Bowser totaled 15 kills, five digs and three blocks for Roosevelt. Senior Mylane Bella-Smuts contributed 15 assists and junior Cat Miller had 10 assists.
“Kent Roosevelt is a team kind of like our own,” Cristofoli said. “Their middle is strong and they run their middles like all the time. We don’t face that many teams like that, but it kind of gave us an advantage because we practice against good middles all the time.”
Sophomore Sophi Cudworth (seven kills), junior Emily Slattery (five digs) and senior Hayley Chlad (four blocks) were also key for Roosevelt.
“We knew that Hudson was going to come in here and play a great game,” Roosevelt coach Tracy Reschke said. “We knew that they are a great team and we knew we had to play our absolute best to beat them, and we came pretty close. I think this is one of the best games we played all year long. It is the most heart, desire and passion that I have seen out of my girls. I am so proud of the way they played tonight. They never let up.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.