Nordonia volleyball keeps rolling in Suburban League

Roger Gordon
Correspondent
Nordonia middle hitter Aleana Mason looks to serve the ball during a game earlier this season.

The Nordonia volleyball team is well on its way to achieving its regular-season goal of finishing undefeated in the Suburban League National Conference.

Wins last week over conference rivals Stow-Munroe Falls and Brecksville-Broadview Heights upped the Knights’ record to 10-0 in the conference. They are 16-1 overall. Second-place Hudson and Brecksville each have three conference losses.

Nordonia won at home against Stow-Munroe Falls Sept. 29 25-8, 25-18, 25-11. The Knights were victorious 25-16, 25-15, 23-25, 25-20 Sept. 30 at Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

“In the win over Stow, we were in control the whole time,” Nordonia head coach Tim Vasko said. “We just outplayed them, outmatched them, just kind of rolled. Things were going well for us.

“We’re an extremely aggressive serving team. We hit all our spots on our serves. The girls mix it up long and short, hit the lines. Our serving is spectacular.”

Leading the way for Nordonia were senior setter Riley Monroe and senior outside hitter Joy Banks. Monroe had 36 assists, and Banks had 11 kills and four aces.

“Riley has done great for us all season,” said Vasko. “She’s been making great decisions on who to set the ball to depending on the situation we’re in. She mixes it up really well and doesn’t try to overdue it. She takes what’s given to her.

“The good thing for Riley is that she has four hitters who she can go to at all times. She’s an offensive team leader on the floor, too. I just can’t say enough about her.

“Joy is a gamer. She comes to play every single match, every single practice. Anytime she’s out there, we have a chance to win.”

Junior middle hitter/outside hitter Mya Sopata had 14 digs and three aces. Senior right-side hitter Faith Sparks and junior middle hitter Celine Puscian both contributed five aces.

“Celine has been a strong server for us this season,” Vasko said.

The win over Brecksville-Broadview Heights was much closer.

“Brecksville is a good team, but they were missing their setter, who was out with an injury,” said the coach. “We were in control from the beginning of the match through set two. Brecksville came out in the third set as a different team. They were passing the ball and digging everything. It was a tight fourth set.”

Monroe had 54 assists, while Banks totaled 17 kills, 16 digs, five aces and three blocks. Senior libero/defensive specialist Carina Collica had 16 digs, and Sparks numbered 14 kills.

“Carina has had her ups and downs this year, but when the match is on the line she comes through for us,” Vasko said. “She’s a good serve receiver and a good defensive player. She can hang with any of the players who are hitting the ball at her, that’s for sure.

“Faith is kind of overshadowed by Mya and Joy, but she’s one of our better players. She plays all the way around. She serves aggressively and hits well from the right side. She’s a really strong player.”

Puscian had four aces and two blocks. Sopata also had a pair of blocks.

“Finishing the conference schedule undefeated is going to be a tough task,” said Vasko. “We have a great record, but we have some work ahead of us, that’s for sure.”

Nordonia is scheduled to host National Conference rival Cuyahoga Falls Oct. 6 at 6:30 p.m. before traveling to conference foe North Royalton Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m.

The Knights are set to play at Medina Oct. 10 at noon.