The Hudson boys volleyball team nearly pulled off an impressive comeback against a perennial area powerhouse.
Unfortunately, the Explorers fell just a bit short.
Host Hudson dropped to 12-5 on the season after losing to Akron Archbishop Hoban 25-23, 25-21, 20-25, 22-25, 17-15 Tuesday at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.
Although his team made some crucial mistakes, Explorers head coach Larry Meehan was pleased with the performance.
"It was a tough, spirited match," he said. "This is one that definitely got away from us, which is not to say that Hoban did not play well. They kept digging and saving plays all night long.
"Our guys put up some good numbers, but we fell down in the mental parts of the game and did not make some key adjustments along the way.
"As always, I hope these will be building moments, where we recognize we can compete with most good teams, but need to play together for complete sets, if not entire matches.
"Our season can be a real grind with so many matches in short periods of time, but I remain optimistic that our best match is still ahead."
Setter/right-side hitter Luke Karnofel had a strong all-around performance with 23 assists, 11 digs, eight kills, seven blocks, two aces and just one serving error in 20 attempts. He also did not commit a single hitting error.
Outside hitter Matt Gentry had 22 kills, 10 digs, five aces and three blocks and middle blocker Jack Torrence contributed 10 kills and two blocks with just one error.
Also faring well for Hudson were middle blocker Shane Chilcott (six kills, four blocks and one ace); libero Aidan L’Hommedieu (eight kills, five digs, two blocks and two aces); outside hitter Michael Meehan (eight kills, five digs, two blocks and two aces); and setter Mitch Adkins (23 assists, five digs and four aces).
The Explorers got the third seed in the Division I, North Region bracket of the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association state tournament. Cleveland St. Ignatius received the top seed and Massillon Jackson and Brecksville-Broadview Heights earned the third and fourth seeds, respectively.
Hudson is scheduled to host Brunswick in its postseason opener May 23 at 7 p.m.