Hosting Akron Manchester Tuesday was a good barometer of just where the Woodridge volleyball team stands with the postseason on the horizon.
The Bulldogs showed up big-time and defeated the Panthers 25-10, 25-15, 25-23.
"Manchester has beaten teams that we have not beaten," Woodridge head coach Katie Cicione said. "We’re in a perfect spot of where I want to be going into the postseason, especially playing the way we did in this match. The girls played really, really phenomenally."
On Wednesday Woodridge beat Portage Trail Conference Metro Division rival Ravenna at home 25-10, 25-16, 25-5.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs in the win over Manchester were freshman outside/right-side hitter Anna Laczo and junior setter Alyssa Speakman. Laczo had a career-high 19 kills, three digs and two aces, while Speakman recorded 26 assists, four digs and a kill.
"Anna was phenomenal. She’s really played well this season," said Cicione. "Alyssa runs our offense with such great discipline. She’s constantly making her teammates better players, so I think that speaks volumes about her character."
Junior all-around player Mya Lathem had 10 digs, nine kills, three aces and an assist. Senior libero Lily Bowman had 16 digs, four assists and an ace, while junior middle/outside hitter Bella McBride totaled 11 digs, seven kills and a pair of aces.
Junior defensive specialist/setter Sarah Abood amassed 13 digs, 10 assists and an ace, while senior right-side hitter Bailey Thompson had six digs, four aces, three kills and two assists.
Senior middle hitter Jacierra Arnett had four kills and two digs, and junior defensive specialist Jordan Ritterbeck recorded three digs.
In the win over Ravenna, Thompson led the way with 10 aces, four kills, three digs and an assist. Abood had 11 assists, three aces and three digs, while Bowman totaled 13 digs, two aces and an assist.
Laczo had nine kills, four digs and two aces, and McBride amassed six aces, three kills and three digs.
Arnett had two kills, two digs and a block, while Ritterbeck had four digs. Sophomore outside hitter Emily Dennison had four kills, and junior defensive specialist Morgan La Mancusa recorded three digs.
"Every time we’ve thrown Emily out to play in a varsity match, she’s played really disciplined," Cicione said. "She’s just a really well-rounded, athletic kid. To see her blossom and have fun within matches is really important for us.
"Morgan is one of those kids who is just a program kid. Every time she goes in on varsity, she lights up and has a blast. And everybody enjoys playing around her."
Freshman defensive specialist Brooke Evans had two digs, and middle hitter Corinne Betts, her classmate, had a single block.
Woodridge began the week Oct. 3 by defeating Metro Division rival Streetsboro on the road 25-16, 25-17, 15-25, 25-18.
"The match really meant a lot to us," said the coach. "It was the first time since about 2014 that we beat Streetsboro twice in one season. The girls played really well. They had a lot of good connections, especially on the road. They just had a lot of fun, and I think that’s what made the match go pretty quick."
Abood had 19 assists, 11 digs and two aces, while McBride totaled nine kills, eight digs, six aces and three blocks.
"Sarah was very consistent. She was a team player," Cicione said. "Bella was on fire. Every time she goes up and hits, we know the ball is going to be put away."
Lathem had 12 kills, eight digs, two aces and two assists, Thompson had 14 digs and seven kills and Bowman recorded 15 digs, three assists and a pair of aces.
Arnett had five kills, five digs and two blocks, Ritterbeck had eight digs and two aces, while Laczo hung up seven kills, two assists and a block. Dennison recorded a single kill.
On Oct. 5 Woodridge suffered its lone defeat of the week, falling at Tallmadge 25-12, 25-13, 25-14.
"All of our out-of-league matches this season I made sure were tough teams," said Cicione. "Tallmadge is ranked pretty high up in our district, and I feel it was a really good learning experience for us."
Lathem had 11 digs, six kills and an ace, while Thompson totaled seven digs, two aces and a kill.
"Mya does well when we’re playing against more disciplined teams because she’s a disciplined athlete. She played consistently the whole match," the coach said. "Bailey also played really consistently."
Speakman had 10 assists, six digs and a kills, Laczo had 10 kills, three digs and an ace, while McBride recorded six digs, four kills and two aces.
Abood had seven assists and five digs, and Bowman totaled six digs.
Woodridge is scheduled to take a 10-12 overall record and a 7-6 Metro Division mark into a home match against division rival Field on Senior Night in the regular-season finale Thursday.
The Bulldogs are set to compete in the Tallmadge Division II sectional-district tournament. They are seeded 10th and are scheduled to play seventh-seeded Norton Wednesday at 6 p.m. If Woodridge wins, next up would be a match against second-seeded Richfield Revere Oct. 19 at 11 a.m.