Straight-set wins keep coming for Nordonia volleyball

Roger Gordon
Correspondent

The Nordonia volleyball team just keeps rolling along, plowing through its schedule.

The Knights won three more matches last week without losing a single set. They are now 11-1 overall and 6-0 and in first place in the Suburban League National Conference.

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“We’re playing very confidently right now,” head coach Tim Vasko said.

First, Nordonia defeated National Conference rival North Royalton 25-15, 25-10, 25-18 Sept. 15 at home. Then, on Sept. 16, the Knights won at conference foe Twinsburg 25-13, 25-19, 25-17. Finally, on Sept. 19, they defeated visiting Boardman 25-22, 25-7, 25-17.

Nordonia was in complete control from the start in the win over North Royalton.

“Everybody played well,” said Vasko.

Leading the way for Nordonia were senior setter Riley Monroe and outside hitter Joy Banks, her classmate. Monroe had 33 assists, while Banks totaled 14 kills and 12 digs.

“Riley is making good decisions on where she’s setting the ball,” Vasko said. “She’s mixing it up really well. She’s setting the outside, setting the middle, setting the back row and setting right-side. She’s really helping us out offensively.

“Joy performs well every match. She’s just a great all-around player. She continues to improve and at a high level.”

Senior libero/defensive specialist Carina Collica had 16 digs, senior middle hitter Aleana Mason had four aces and junior middle hitter/outside hitter Mya Sopata contributed three blocks.

Again, Vasko’s squad was in complete control from the beginning in the win over Twinsburg.

Sopata had 11 kills and 11 digs.

“Mya is doing really well,” said the coach. “She’s starting to come around as an outside hitter. This is the first time she’s ever played that position in high school. She can play any of the three positions in the front row. She plays all the way around for us and is just getting more confident every day. She’s one of our top players.”

Monroe had 36 assists, Banks had 13 kills and three aces and Mason hung up two blocks.

Unforced errors caused the opening set in the win over Boardman to be relatively close.

“The girls were a little flat, but then they pulled it together in the second set and took control and never looked back,” Vasko said.

Monroe had 36 assists, Banks had 20 kills while Mason contributed 10 kills.

“Aleana is getting stronger and stronger every day,” said Vasko. “She’s one of our all-around players who serves really well, too. She’s coming around in the middle. She’s making smarter decisions, hitting the ball in the right areas and seeing the court very well offensively. She’s getting up the big blocks, making the opposing hitters hit around to make it easier on our defense. She’s always a positive leader on the floor, too.”

Sopata had 11 digs, four aces and three blocks, and senior right-side hitter Faith Sparks had four aces.

“Faith is one of our top servers,” the coach said. “She catches people out of system all the time.”

Nordonia was scheduled to host Wadsworth Sept. 22 and will travel to Hudson Sept. 24. Both are conference matches that are set to start at 6:30 p.m. The Knights are scheduled to host Mantua Crestwood Sept. 26 at noon.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us to make sure we continue to get a little bit better. This is a big week for us,” said Vasko. “Wadsworth and Hudson are both 4-2 in the conference. They’re both playing really well right now.

“We have our work cut out for us. We cannot let up, we have to make sure we’re focused and we have to make sure we’re ready to take on a challenge because it’s going to be a big challenge both nights.”