Banks breaks record as Nordonia volleyball rolls past Bees and Beaumont

Roger Gordon

It may not have gone five sets, but it was about as competitive a volleyball match as one can get.

Nordonia began a solid week with a 25-21, 20-25, 25-19, 30-28 victory Sept. 8 at home over Suburban League National Conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

“Brecksville has a good all-around team,” Knights head coach Tim Vasko said. “They have a good setter, a couple outstanding outside hitters and a couple good middles.

“We were pretty equally matched teams. We just made less unforced errors than they did. That’s what it came down to. Both sides were trying to be aggressive to win that match.”

On Sept. 10, Nordonia defeated National Conference rival Cuyahoga Falls on the road 25-7, 25-13, 25-15.

On Sept. 12, the Knights beat Cleveland Heights Beaumont at home 25-19, 25-17, 25-22 to improve to 8-1 overall. They are 4-0 in the National Conference.

In the win over Brecksville-Broadview Heights, leading the way were senior setter Riley Monroe and senior outside hitter Joy Banks. Monroe had 55 assists, while Banks hung up 20 kills.

Banks broke the school’s all-time kills record of 913 that night.

“Joy’s goal is to get over 1,000 kills for her career,” said Vasko. “If she stays healthy, she’ll get there. She had a great night.

“Riley is doing really well. She’s getting better and better as each day goes by. She’s making some good decisions on where to set the ball and setting the ball to the right person at the right time. She’s mixing up the offense, and that’s helping her get some high assist numbers.”

Senior libero/defensive specialist Carina Collica had 22 digs, while junior middle hitter/outside hitter Mya Sopata contributed 16 kills.

“Carina is reading the ball very well,” Vasko said. “She’s a strong player in the back row and is doing a really good job defensively. She’s picking up the ball really well and seeing the other side of the court. She also is doing well on serve-receives.

“It’s new for Mya to be on the outside, and she’s still learning that position. But she’s getting better and better every day and doing very well. She can play all three positions in the front row.”

Senior middle hitter Aleana Mason had three aces and two blocks.

The win over Cuyahoga Falls allowed the coach to play some of his reserves.

Monroe had 31 assists, Banks had 14 kills, senior right-side hitter Faith Sparks had 10 digs and Sopata totaled five aces.

According to Vasko, the win over Beaumont was not as close as the score indicates.

“We were always in the lead and always had command of each set,” he said. “Even the third set, as close as it was, we had a big lead and then kind of got relaxed a little bit but still came out with the victory.”

Monroe had 45 assists, and Mason had 14 kills and three aces.

“Riley is leading the state in Division I, and the National Conference, in assists this season,” said Vasko. “Aleana is starting to come alive. She’s really playing extremely well. She’s serving great for us. Her hitting percentage was .632 against Beaumont, which is extremely high.”

Also against Beaumont Banks had 16 kills and 15 digs, and Sopata had 16 digs.

The Knights are scheduled to play at conference foe Twinsburg Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. They are set to host Boardman Sept. 19 at noon.