Woodridge volleyball scores straight-set win over Falls and Coventry

Roger Gordon
Correspondent

It was smooth sailing last week for the Woodridge volleyball team.

The Bulldogs defeated Cuyahoga Falls 25-20, 25-10, 25-21 at home Aug. 29. They opened Portage Trail Conference Metro Division play by winning 25-14, 25-18, 25-18 at Field Sept. 1.

Woodridge improved to 3-1 overall on the young season.

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According to Bulldogs head coach Katie Cicione, her team was in control for the most part against Cuyahoga Falls.

“I think that Cuyahoga Falls is pretty decent. They have two outside hitters that carried their team,” she said. “I think that we got away from the game plan for a little bit, but we finished strong and did the things we needed to accomplish.”

Leading the way for Woodridge were senior setter Alyssa Speakman and senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Mya Lathem. Speakman had 27 assists, three digs and a kill, while Lathem notched 13 kills, eight digs, four aces and four assists.

“Alyssa is very vital to our program this year,” said Cicione. “She’s got good eyes on the court. She’s very passionate about the game of volleyball.

“Mya was just extremely consistent within the whole match. She executed the game plan very well. She has a good volleyball IQ.”

Senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Bella McBride had 11 digs, nine aces and seven kills. Sophomore right-side hitter/defensive specialist Anna Laczo contributed nine digs, six kills and a block.

Senior defensive specialist Sarah Abood had 13 digs and two aces, while senior middle/right-side hitter Audrey Donnelly had four kills and two blocks.

Freshman middle hitter Hope Donnelly, Audrey’s sister, had three kills, two digs and a block, and senior defensive specialist Jordan Ritterbeck hung up two aces and two digs.

In the win over Field, there was no doubt who the better team was from the very start.

“In the third set, we were up 16-1 at one point. Field is down this year to be honest,” Cicione said. “The girls played really phenomenal the whole night. They executed on the road very well. Every match that we play in our division is important.”

Abood had 26 digs, five assists and two 2 aces, Laczo had 11 kills, nine digs and an ace, while McBride contributed nine digs, four kills and three aces.

“Sarah was very consistent,” said Cicione. “Her consistency and her ball control are very key. She’s just having a standout season.

“Anna is kind of our tricky player to our offense because she’s lefthanded, and opponents have a very hard time adjusting to her left hand. She’s very powerful, she’s very consistent. She’s just a key person in our program all-around.

“Bella is very consistent and very competitive. She doesn’t get taken off the court, so we rely on her heavily to have a consistent match. She has a high volleyball IQ.”

Lathem had 15 digs, 12 kills, nine aces and three assists. Speakman had 23 assists, seven digs, two aces and two kills.

Audrey Donnelly had five kills, three blocks and two digs, while Hope Donnelly notched three kills and a pair of blocks.

Senior defensive specialist Morgan LaMancusa had three aces and two digs, and Ritterbeck had three digs.

Junior outside hitter Emily Dennison had two kills and a dig, while freshman setter Payge McBride, Bella’s sister, had three assists.

Woodridge is scheduled to play at home against Akron Coventry Sept. 8 and at home against division foe Streetsboro Sept. 10. Both matches are set to start at 7 p.m.