HUDSON — Morgan Gaeta understood the circumstances.
Therefore, she dutifully performed her menial duties to the best of her ability.
This past summer, though, the Hudson junior got a bit antsy. She believed a change of scenery was necessary.
“Over the summer, I asked Brad if I could have an opportunity to hit during the season,” Gaeta said.
Gaeta discussed her role with Explorers head girls volleyball coach Brad Disandis. Fortunately for Gaeta, her coach loved the idea.
Disandis approved her soon-to-be-former defensive specialist’s request and allowed Gaeta to swing away in the front row.
Neither Gaeta nor Disandis have looked back since.
Thanks to Gaeta’s 10 kills, nine digs, eight service points, including four aces, and two blocks, host Hudson cruised to a 25-16, 25-23, 25-19 victory over former nemesis North Royalton. The Suburban League National Conference match took place Tuesday at Ray “Buck” Hyser Gymnasium.
Prior to this season, the Explorers hadn’t tamed the Bears in four years.
No such problems this fall.
Hudson (13-6, 6-5), which is seeking its first winning season in four years, earned straight-set wins over North Royalton twice.
“I think it’s a really great step forward for the Hudson program,” Gaeta said. “It’s just a great accomplishment. I wouldn’t have it any other way this year.”
That includes her new role as a finisher. Gaeta has been thriving as a punishing force in the front row throughout the season.
“I love it so much,” Gaeta said. “It has just been an amazing opportunity. I love getting to score points for my team.”
Thanks to Gaeta’s emergence as an offensive dynamo, the Explorers have more depth than they’ve had in quite awhile. Gaeta certainly has shown much velocity on her fastball thus far. At the same time, though, she has been able to mix in her share of off-speed pitches, as well.
“Morgan had a great game,” Disandis said. “She has been working hard in practice. She did a great job of mixing up her shots.
“When you’re a little bit undersized on the outside, you have to be able to create angles to hit through. She did a great job of that.”
Gaeta isn’t surprised by her ability to terminate balls with regularity. For her, it was just a matter of unleashing the beast.
“I think I always had it in me,” Gaeta said. “At the time, the last two years, what they really needed was a defensive specialist.”
One way or another, it’s safe to say the Explorers wouldn’t be nearly as successful without their sweet-swinging junior, who is surrounded by a plethora of rocket launchers.
As for Gaeta, she had no trouble fitting in.
“Everyone is so incredible,” Gaeta said. “I’m just so inspired by everyone’s grit and determination and passion for the game. Overall, it has just been a great season so far.”
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_RPC.