STOW: The Stow volleyball team scratched off another high seed Tuesday night in the Division I district it is hosting.
The No. 4 seeded Bulldogs defeated No. 3 seed Hudson five days after dispatching No. 2 seed Kent Roosevelt.
Up next for Stow, No. 1 seed Walsh Jesuit in a district final at 6 p.m. Thursday.
“We just take it one game at a time,” Stow coach Miguel Andres Ramirez said. “I know that is cliché, but that is really the approach we are taking.”
Stow (14-10) beat Hudson by scores of 25-19, 22-22, 23-25 and 25-15 in the nightcap.
“We got a little rattled during that third set,” Ramirez said. “I think our seniors really decided to step up and really lead the charge all the way home. [Senior] Megan Garrison really had some big swings down the stretch, and our sophomore setter [Melissa Conrad] had a nice play at the end that really swung the tide.”
Walsh (17-7) triumphed over Twinsburg 25-20, 25-14 and 25-20 to open the evening.
“We were a little bit off tonight,” Walsh coach Missy Sturm said. “We made a few mistakes hitting-wise and made a few mistakes with serving errors, but we came back and made some really good adjustments.
“[Senior] Mary Grace Kelly did what she has all season long, which is getting key kills when we needed them. The same can be said with [senior] Annie Osterfeld in the front row. She did a great job hitting and blocking. [Junior] Kyra Coundourides ran the court like she has been running it all season long. She had some real key dumps when we needed it, and [senior] Becca Kanz did an awesome job in the back row.”
Walsh and Stow met last year in a district final with the Warriors prevailing.
“It feels great to be able to get the chance to play Walsh again,” Stow senior Heather Graehling said. “We split with Hudson earlier in the year, and it feels so good to just take them in four. It is the best feeling ever. This is a big rivalry.”
Garrison, juniors Sydney Trathen and Madison Baer combined to have 30 kills for Stow against Hudson. Conrad and senior Kelsie Hengle combined to have 36 assists.
“This gives our team so much confidence going into Thursday,” Stow senior Allyson Iwanski said. “We knew this was our rival match. This really means a lot to us.”
Senior Sarah Faust, sophomore Jordan Mackay and junior Celia Cristofoli combined to have 33 kills for Hudson (16-8). Seniors Amanda Bedell, Erin Dunlap and Allison Zullo and junior Kristen Mummey were also key for the Explorers.
“We as coaches stress fighting to the end every day in practice and throughout every game,” Hudson coach Jessica Pompei said. “Since I have been coaching here since least year we have been the type of team that always fights from behind.”
Walsh utilized its significant height advantage to top Twinsburg (18-9).
Osterfeld compiled 15 kills and Kelly had 11 kills for Walsh. Coundourides totaled 37 assists and Kanz added 23 digs.
“We are really excited,” Osterfeld said. “We just came in focused and wanted to play our best. I think we did that and we are ready for out next match on Thursday.”
Seniors Nicole Onderko and Katie Gaugler also provided a presence at the net for Walsh with juniors Kit McCarty and Cassidy Gawlik and sophomore Carolyn Bauer.
“I love it,” Coundourides said of Walsh’s depth. “It is a great feeling to have great hitters around me.”
Twinsburg coach Karra Fantone praised the play of seniors Alyssa Carcioppolo (18 digs) and Morgan Winston (22 assists). Seniors Taylor Ware, Kaitie Dunn and Amelia Gagnon also kept the Tigers close, along with junior Mackenzie Harrison.
“We just really came out with energy and came out ready to take whatever they threw at us,” Fantone said. “We threw a lot at them, too.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.