The Gilmour Academy volleyball team is full steam ahead toward capturing its 14th district title in the past 15 seasons with little doubt for the Lady Lancers (17-1), who have been ranked No. 1 among Division II competitors in the state all season.
Gilmour’s lone loss this campaign was a competitive four-set match against Division I state No. 1-ranked Padua Franciscan (17-0), which is the overwhelming favorite for a big-school state title, according to Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association pollsters.
And while the Lady Lancers have nine all-district selections on their court this season, they still have to play their district competition.
Representing the top seed out of the 12-team Division II Northeast District 5 bracket, Gilmour opened its tournament run with a 3-0 sweep against No. 10-seed Orange, 25-6, 25-11, 25-10, last Thursday. The Lady Lions were coming off a 3-0 victory against No. 11-seed Akron East in their opener.
In Gilmour’s tilt against Orange, Lady Lancer 6-foot sophomore Anna Rarick led the kills department with nine, while 5-foot-10 senior Jocelyn Carter, 5-foot-11 junior Sabrina Gremm and 6-foot freshman Maria Flynn put down eight apiece, and 5-foot-11 senior Brinn MacLellan had seven.
Gilmour also recorded 10 aces. Senior libero Emmy Klika and sophomore defensive specialist Laney Klika recorded three apiece, while junior Brooke Clair had two. The Klikas also led the digging column with 11 apiece, while senior setter Ava Nestor had 24 assists.
With the win, Gilmour was scheduled to host No. 7-seed Chagrin Falls (8-8) in the district semifinals on Wednesday in Gates Mills. The winner of that match will play either No. 2-seed Medina Buckeye (15-7) or No. 3-seed LaGrange Keystone (16-5) in the title game at 1 p.m. Saturday at a site to be determined.
Chagrin sweeps Clearview
The Chagrin Falls girls volleyball team (8-8) put together a pair of 3-0 playoff victories against Akron Buchtel and Lorain Clearview to extend its win streak to five matches last week.
Seeded No. 7 in the 12-team Division II Northeast District 5 tournament, the Lady Tigers swept No. 8-seed Buchtel, 25-16, 25-10, 25-20, in their postseason opener. Senior middle Lily Weinberger led Chagrin with nine kills, while senior outside Jessie Perotti had seven put-downs and senior middle Lily Crouch had five.
The Chagrin girls also recorded 13 aces in that match, including four from senior Olivia Nerpouni and three apiece from Crouch and junior Lily Rini, while Weinberger collected four blocks at the net. Rini led the digging column with a dozen, while sophomore setter Kendall Guddy had 30 assists.
Moving on to their district quarterfinal match, the Lady Tigers swept No. 9-seed Lorain Clearview, 25-15, 25-21, 25-13. The Chagrin Falls girls spread out their attack among Weinberger, five kills, Perotti, four, senior Mary Condon, four, Crouch four, and Nerpouni, three. Guddy had 18 assists.
From the service stripe, Perotti had five aces, while Crouch recorded two. Weinberger had four more blocks at the net, while Nerpouni had two. And Rini collected 19 digs, while Perotti had 10.
With that victory, Chagrin Falls was scheduled to play state No. 1-ranked Gilmour Academy (17-1) in the district semifinals on Wednesday in Gates Mills. The winner will play either No. 2-seed Medina Buckeye (15-7) or No. 3-seed LaGrange Keystone (16-5) in the title game at 1 p.m. Saturday at a site to be determined.