Woodridge volleyball rolls on with three straight set wins

Roger Gordon
Correspondent

The Woodridge volleyball team continues to reach heights not seen by the program in a long time.

Last week, the Bulldogs won three matches without losing a set.

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First, they beat visiting Metro Athletic Conference rival Streetsboro Sept. 10 25-15, 25-14, 25-15. Then, on Sept. 15, they won at MAC foe Cloverleaf 25-17, 25-18, 25-18. Finally, on Sept. 16 at home, they defeated Palmyra Southeast 25-12, 25-18, 25-7.

Woodridge improved to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference.

In the win over Streetsboro, the Bulldogs breezed to victory.

“We were in control the whole way,” Woodridge head coach Katie Cicione said. “We stayed pretty disciplined in our offense and our defense, played good ball control and got it done pretty quick.”

Leading the way for Woodridge were senior setter Alyssa Speakman and sophomore right-side hitter/defensive specialist Anna Laczo. Speakman had 32 assists and four digs, while Laczo had 17 kills, six digs, two blocks and two aces.

“Alyssa was very consistent,” said Cicione. “My favorite thing about her is that she’s able to progress within plays pretty well, and that was crucial playing against a team like Streetsboro. She adjusted very well to set a good tempo. Anna is on fire this season. She’s super consistent and a blast to watch.”

Senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Mya Lathem had nine digs, seven kills and three aces. Senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Bella McBride had 11 digs and eight kills, while senior defensive specialist Sarah Abood contributed nine digs and a pair of aces.

Freshman middle hitter Hope Donnelly had four blocks and three kills, while her sister, senior middle hitter/right-side hitter Audrey Donnelly, hung up four kills and two blocks.

Senior defensive specialist Jordan Ritterbeck had three aces and two digs, senior defensive specialist Morgan LaMancusa had three aces and junior outside hitter Emily Dennison contributed two kills.

Woodridge also controlled the match in the win over Cloverleaf.

“We played well with good ball control,” Cicione said. “We played well on the road, and that’s our goal this season – to play well and execute on the road, and the girls did that.”

Lathem had eight kills, four digs and three aces, while McBride had nine digs and four kills.

“Mya was very consistent throughout the whole match,” said the coach. “Playing teams like Cloverleaf, you have to stay consistent. Mya plays with a good volleyball IQ.

“Bella is new to defense this year, but I don’t think anybody would realize that. She’s worked so hard to earn that defensive spot, and she’s playing very consistently.”

Speakman had 37 assists and nine aces. Laczo had 16 kills, five digs, three aces and three blocks.

Hope Donnelly had nine blocks and four kills, Abood had seven digs and two aces and Audrey Donnelly contributed four kills and three blocks.

LaMancusa had three aces, and Ritterbeck totaled two digs and an ace.

According to Cicione, the score in the win over Southeast was deceiving.

“Southeast is a very good team,” she said. “I think we just played on point, consistently, the entire match.

Two members of the team who played well were Audrey Donnelly and Dennison.

“Audrey has taken our program by absolute storm,” said Cicione. “She has a huge block, and she adjusts very well to every team we’re playing and plays with a good tempo.

“Emily is just a program kid. She came in against Southeast when she got to play and played with a lot of aggression, and that’s what we need from her.”

The Bulldogs are scheduled to host Norton Sept. 22 and Field Sept. 24. Both are conference matches that are set to begin at 7 p.m.