It was a loss, but Nordonia volleyball gave a solid account of themselves Thursday against one of Ohio’s best programs.
Even though her team fell 25-16, 14-25, 25-27, 26-24, 16-14 to visiting Suburban League National Conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights Thursday, Nordonia head volleyball coach Lori Snider saw many positives.
"We played with energy, enthusiasm and excitement," she said. "That’s what we’ve been waiting all season to see.
"The girls’ minds were there, their energy was there. They were working together. We played well. It was a good match all-around. I was really proud of our performance. We got better for sure.
Nordonia had its chances to finish the match off in the fourth set but just could not get it done. When it came down to it, the Knights just made too many errors.
"We made a much more significant amount of errors than Brecksville did," said Snider.
Senior setter Emily Chrustic led the way for Nordonia with 56 assists.
"Emily set a very good match," said Snider. "She made good decisions and pushed the ball out to both ends pretty well."
Outside hitters Megan Alders and Joy Banks were big contributors. Alders, a senior, had 23 digs, 19 kills and an ace. Banks, a sophomore, had 26 kills and an ace.
"Both Joy and Megan had phenomenal matches," Snider said. "I couldn’t ask any more from either one of them, actually all three girls."
Junior libero Riley Watroba had 15 digs, while sophomore middle/right-side hitter Aleana Mason had three blocks.
"Riley really stepped up and played well. She covered our hitters well," said the coach. "That’s the most aggressive I’ve seen her play all year. If there’s one constant to nearly every single match, it’s Aleana’s blocking."
On Sept. 4, the Knights lost at National Conference rival Stow-Munroe Falls 25-16, 25-19, 23-25, 26-24.
According to Sniders, it was a much different defeat than the one to Brecksville-Broadview Heights.
"We came out flat and just went through the motions. We weren’t ready to play," said Snider. "Stow is a pretty good team, but we beat ourselves more than anything. We missed 15 serves, which is unheard of.
"In the third set we started to pick it up and play like we should’ve played in the first two sets. I don’t know why we struggle in the first set, but that’s been the trend this year."
Chrustic led the way with 47 assists.
"Emily came to play that night. Her mindset was there," Snider said.
Alders had 23 digs and 12 kills, while Banks had 14 kills and two aces.
"Defensively, Megan has really stepped up her game," said Snider. "We missed her defense when she was out with her injury, so we’re happy to have her back, on the offensive side too.
"Joy is continuing to be a strong presence up at the net. She’s been leading us in kills for quite a few matches now. She’s just aggressive."
Freshman middle hitter Mya Sopata had two aces, and Mason contributed two blocks.
Nordonia was scheduled to take a 5-4 overall record and 1-3 National Conference mark into a match at Cuyahoga Falls Tuesday.
The Knights are scheduled to host North Royalton Thurssday at 6:30 p.m.
Nordonia is scheduled to compete at the Independence Renee Roche Tournament Saturday at 10 a.m.