Finishing. That is what head coach Katie Cicione wanted from her Woodridge volleyball team Sept. 4 at home against Portage Trail Conference Metro Division rival Field.
Cicione got it.
The Bulldogs beat the Falcons 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 25-12.
"It was a pretty good match," Cicione said. "The girls really put Field away in the fourth set, and that’s what I really needed out of them to improve on. They pushed through."
Leading the way for Woodridge was sophomore outside hitter/defensive specialist Mya Lathem with 18 kills and 16 digs.
"Mya was on fire," the coach said. "Absolutely no one could stop her. Every time she got set, it was a kill. I’m more than proud of her."
Senior defensive specialist Brayden Wigal had 16 digs and four aces.
"Brayden played awesome. I felt like she didn’t make any mistakes," said Cicione.
Also playing well were sophomore setters Sarah Abood (24 assists, three digs) and Alyssa Speakman (16 assists, two blocks) and junior right-side hitter Bailey Thompson (nine kills, five aces, four digs).
"Sarah was awesome. She doesn’t get enough praise," Cicione said. "Alyssa really came out to play and proved herself to our whole coaching staff. I’m really proud of her.
"Bailey was very consistent. Every time the ball came to her, she made a smart play on it."
Junior libero Lily Bowman had 19 digs, while junior middle hitter Jacierra Arnett had 11 kills and three blocks.
Sophomore middle hitter Bella McBride had seven kills and a block, senior outside hitter Skylar Takacs had seven kills and sophomore defensive specialist Jordan Ritterbeck contributed seven digs.
On Aug. 30, Woodridge fell at Metro Division rival Cloverleaf losing a five set thriller 25-17, 20-25, 20-25, 25-13, 15-12.
"We went into the match not knowing what to expect out of Cloverleaf," Cicione said. "From a coaching standpoint and from the players’ standpoint, we didn’t know anything about them. No one has really talked about them yet this season."
According to the coach, her team played a little intimidated in the first set.
"Cloverleaf played a pretty steady game that set," she said. "Going into the second set, the girls knew what we wanted.
"Coming off the loss to Streetsboro that Tuesday, I think they just had a little bit more realization of what they want out of this season, and we played pretty competitively. Things started to connect, and we looked good.
"The fourth set was low on our part. Cloverleaf came back into the match and really gave us a run for our money.
"The fifth set was a tough one. We were up 6-1, but then the girls just got down on themselves, and a few bad calls didn’t go our way. We just couldn’t pull it out."
Bowman had 17 digs and seven service points.
"I can’t say enough about Lily," Cicione said. "She made two mistakes in five sets. She was the one who I could count on. That’s the exact reason why she’s our libero.
"She has great leadership and great determination."
Lathem had 10 kills and nine digs.
"I think Mya is one of the best players in the Metro Division," the coach said. "She’s really letting everybody know who she is. She just plays a consistent match, period."
Abood had 20 assists, while Arnett contributed 11 kills and four blocks.
"Sarah played a very consistent match," Cicione said. "If I tell her what I need out of her, she gets it done.
"Jacierra puts the ball over the net and also got the job done."
Woodridge is scheduled to take a 2-5 overall record and a 2-2 Metro mark into a match at division rival Coventry Thursday at 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to compete in a tri-match against Cuyahoga Falls and host Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Saturday at 1 p.m.
They are scheduled to host division rival Norton Sept. 11, travel to Our Lady of the Elms Sept. 12 and host division foe Springfield Sept. 13. All three matches are set to begin at 7 p.m.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, firstname.lastname@example.org or @MLeonard_RPC