In recent years, the Hudson girls volleyball team has had quite a tough time handling the gauntlet of formidable teams who make their home in the Suburban League National Conference.
The Explorers recently knocked off two of those powerful forces in former state champion Brecksville-Broadview Heights and North Royalton.
They added another conference member to their revenge list Thursday. This one might have been their sweetest victory yet. That’s because it was against their main rival.
Hudson improved to 5-3 overall and 4-2 in the conference after earning a 25-18, 25-19, 25-23 victory over host Stow-Munroe Falls. The match took place at James G. Tyree Gymnasium.
The Explorers played like a team possessed in the early going as they stormed out of the gates to take a 9-1 lead.
Hudson got strong serving by Morgan Gaeta, who smashed some low line drives that barely went over the net, and also got stellar passing and formidable striking in the front row.
The Bulldogs, who have had their way with the Explorers in the last few years, hung tough in all three sets and actually led most of the way in the third set.
However, Stow (2-8, 2-4) had some crucial errors down the stretch that proved costly. Thanks to a kill by Brooke Ramlow, Hudson finished the deal on match point.
Ramlow, who continues to shine as both an enforcer in the front row and as a setter, finished with 11 kills, 11 assists and eight digs.
Gaeta showcased a lethal serve throughout the evening. She had 12 service points and was a defensive force with 16 digs. Gaeta shined offensively too as she smashed home four kills.
Page Gross delivered some strong serving, as well, with seven service points. She also had four kills and three blocks.
Rylyn Dearstine finished with six kills and four blocks and Allyson Yanak and Cailynn Sullivan each had five kills and two blocks for the Explorers.
Also faring well for Hudson were Amelia Hoffmeier (25 digs and two aces), Melissa Hansen (22 assists and six digs) and Anna Faust (12 digs).
The Bulldogs’ leading lady was Samantha Croyle, who 10 kills, seven digs and four blocks. Molly Richards added seven kills and Kira Philpot finished with three blocks for Stow.
Olivia Harris contributed 26 assists and eight digs and Ryleigh Schelien had 11 digs for the Bulldogs.