Aurora volleyball still finding itself in early season

Steve Batko
Correspondent

There have been flashes.

Obviously competing in a season like no other, the Aurora volleyball team is no different than other clubs in the area.

The Greenmen are still trying to find themselves, so to speak.

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As everyone navigates through these crazy times during a pandemic – energy levels fluctuate, both physical and mental. High school athletics is no different.

Head coach Tyler Price has seen flashes of brilliance and at the same time, some disappointment.

Aurora may have had one of those breakthrough moments Sept. 19. The Greenmen won 3-1 at Brecksville, a solid program that back in 2016 captured a state championship.

That won’t happen in 2020, but Brecksville is still a solid squad. Aurora won 25-19, 25-23, 25-27, 27-25 on Sept. 19 to move to 3-4 overall.

“It’s been an up and down season,” said Price. “There have been moments and sets of greatness and you can see what the potential of the team can be. On the flip side there have been more moments where we look like we aren’t quite sure what we were doing.”

There’s been some eb and flow this season.

“I think we knew we were getting there and heading in the right direction when we were able to push Copley to five,” noted Price, of the Sept. 15 league battle at Copley.

Aurora lost 3-2 at Copley Sept. 15. It was 21-25, 25-23, 14-25, 28-26, 7-15. Aurora is 1-3 in the Suburban League American Conference.

“We were looking for that one match where we put it all together and I think we had that match today when we went to Brecksville,” said Price, after the victory.

“After a shaky start in set one, we were able to battle back and take the first set. It was a back and forth match, but we were able to pull it out in set four.”

Alayna Fromwiller led Aurora with 12 kills and had five service aces against the Bees.

Big efforts were turned in by Maggie Bradley, who had 38 assists and Maria Parks, who posted 24 digs. Jordan Miller added two blocks while Brecksville was led by Paige Barber with 22 kills.

Price is in his fifth season and is assisted by Sarah Brown, Sharri Durdel and Rachele Eckels.

Parks, a junior, made first-team All-Suburban American in 2019 as she stepped into the libero position as a freshman. Last year, she had 321 digs.

Brooke Fishback is back for her third season in the mix and has been a setter the past two years. She is versatile and was a second-team all-league choice in 2019 when Aurora went 12-13 overall.

Bradley, a setter, is a veteran who like Miller, should be much healthier this season for the Greenmen.

“This season we finally have a fully healthy team with players who have bought into what we want to accomplish and they work well together,” said Price.

“Having Jordan Miller is a big pick up for this season,” he added. “She was voted as one of our captains due to her energy on and off the court. She plays multiple positions and does whatever the team needs her to do. She has a motor that never stops.”

Lauren Vonderhaar is a valuable hitter in the middle, who made honorable mention all-league.

Fromwiller is a two-year starter while Mia Devine is also back.

Against Copley, Miller had 12 kills while Parks led with 22 digs and three aces.

Vonderhaar led with five blocks while Bradley had 38 assists.

“Our defense has really stepped it up the past couple of matches,” noted Price. “Maria (parks) sparks the team she keeps putting up solid numbers as our defensive anchor.

“Ever since her freshman year, she has grown and taken a leadership role this season. She is constantly flying around and doing the dirty work of defense.

“We hope to use the Brecksville match as a stepping stone to finish the last half of the season strong.”