Sometimes, you just have to say, "Nice job. Congratulations."

At least that was how it was for the Woodridge volleyball team at Portage Trail Conference Metro Division rival Norton last Thursday. The Bulldogs lost 25-18, 32-30, 25-21 to finish 8-6 and in fourth place in the Metro Division.

"It was a competitive match," said Woodridge head coach Katie Cicione. "It was just one of those nights where everything went Norton’s way."

On Tuesday, Woodridge fell at Manchester 25-23, 25-19, 25-14 to fall to 9-12 overall.

Despite the tough defeat to Norton, there were some fine individual performances. Sophomore setter Sarah Abood had 11 assists and seven digs.

"Sarah played really well," said Cicione. "She executed our game plan well and showed good leadership."

Sophomore outside hitter/defensive specialist Mya Lathem had 11 digs, while senior defensive specialist Brayden Wigal totaled nine digs and five aces.

"Mya played well. Norton had a very fast offense with two senior middles, and she picked up on it very well," Cicione said. "Brayden’s serve is really consistent, and it helps against teams that are as big as Norton."

In the loss to Manchester, Cicione said her team just did not come to play.

"It was just a really off night for us," she said. "We didn’t have good connections at all."

Abood managed 17 assists, and Wigal contributed 16 digs.

"Sarah stayed mentally tough the whole match and just pushed through things, which we needed on a night like that," said the coach. "Brayden played consistently in the back row. She played through an injury and did well."

Junior middle hitter Jacierra Arnett had four kills and two blocks.

Woodridge was scheduled to conclude the regular season at home against Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary Thursday.

The Bulldogs are seeded seventh in the Tallmadge Division II sectional-district tournament.

They are scheduled to oppose 10th-seeded Norwayne in a first-round match next Wednesday at 6 p.m.