The defending district champion Solon volleyball team (15-9) wasted no time securing its fourth straight trip to the finals by disposing of Warren Howland (20-5) in three sets during semifinals play Tuesday night at the Lady Comets’ home floor.
Winning six of its final seven games of the regular season, the Lady Comets earned the No. 2-seed in the 13-team Division I Solon District and first took care of business in their playoff opener against No. 7-seed Bedford, 25-12, 25-12, 25-10, in quarterfinals play on Saturday.
Solon 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter Naseem Story recorded a team-high 11 kills, while 6-foot senior middle McKenna Podracky put down 10 and 5-foot-8 senior outside Simon Tyson hammered away nine, and senior libero Taylor Bergoch collected 10 digs in that match.
As a team, Solon served up 16 aces against Bedford, including four from junior setter Leah Corrao and three apiece from Bergoch and senior defensive specialist Kate Sanders.
Howland, meanwhile, entered the tournament with the No. 6 seed in the district and upset No. 3-seed Brecksville-Broadview Heights, 19-25, 28-26, 25-23, 19-25, 15-10, to reach the semifinals and play Solon on Tuesday night.
But the Lady Comets didn’t leave anything to chance by beating Howland, 25-9, 25-20, 25-22.
With the win, Solon secured a date with No. 1-seed Nordonia (21-3) in a repeat of last year’s district final – when the Lady Comets came away the four-set victors – at 4 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Lady Comets’ home gym.
Gilmour outs Lady Hawks
The Gilmour Academy volleyball team (17-6) is the clear favorite to defend its title as the No. 1-seed in the 14-team Division II Gates Mills District hosted at the Lady Lancers’ home gymnasium.
Gilmour’s only losses this season come against three Division I teams ranked in the top 10 of the state and two programs ranked in the top five of Division II, according to the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association poll.
The Lady Lancers themselves are ranked No. 7 among Division II contenders in the state.
After a first-round bye, the Gilmour girls opened their tournament run with a 25-16, 25-9, 25-5 victory against No. 8-seed Hawken School (11-12) in district quarterfinals play on Saturday in Gates Mills.
Gilmour 6-foot-1 sophomore outside hitter Kathryn Randorf record a team-high 10 kills, while 5-foot-10 junior middle Brinn MacLellan put down eight and 6-foot freshman opposite Anna Rarick hammered away seven.
Meanwhile, Lady Lancer 5-foot-7 junior libero Emmy Klika had 18 digs and 11 aces; 6-foot junior middle Caroline Rarick had a team-high three blocks; and junior Ava Nestor set 30 assists.
For Hawken, 5-foot-10 outside hitter Jordan Kutash was a jack-of-all-trades in leading her team with three kills, two aces and 11 digs.
With the win, Gilmour was scheduled to play No. 5-seed Aurora (12-12) in the district semifinals on Wednesday evening. The winner will play either No. 2-seed Kenston (17-6) or No. 6-seed Laurel School (12-10) in the district title game at 4 p.m. Oct. 26 at Gilmour Academy.
Kenston stumps CVCA
Kenston volleyball (17-6) ended its regular season by winning six of its final seven games to earn the No. 2 seed in the 14-team Division II Gates Mills District, after competing in Division I for the past eight seasons.
After a first-round bye, the Lady Bombers defeated No. 7-seed Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (12-12) in three sets, 25-13, 25-9, 25-5, during quarterfinals plays on Saturday at Gilmour Academy.
With the win, Kenston was scheduled to play No. 6-seed Laurel School – an upset victor against No. 3-seed Chagrin Falls, 29-27, 25-18, 18-25, 20-25, 15-12 – on Wednesday night.
The Kenston-Laurel winner will advance to play either No. 1 seed Gilmour (17-6) or No. 5-seed Aurora (12-12) in the district title game at 4 p.m. Oct. 26 at Gilmour Academy.