Nordonia volleyball clinches National Conference title

Roger Gordon
Nordonia junior Joy Banks puts down a kill during a match against Hudson earlier this season. The Knights claimed their second straight Suburban League National Conference title with straight-sets win over North Royalton Oct. 8.

The Nordonia volleyball team’s confidence level is very high right now.

And it should be, considering the Knights clinched the outright Suburban League National Conference championship Oct. 8 with a 25-14, 25-13, 25-14 victory at conference rival North Royalton. Nordonia improved to 18-1 overall and 12-0 in the conference.

“We were in control the whole way,” Nordonia head coach Tim Vasko said. “North Royalton’s top player was out, but I don’t think it would’ve made much of a difference. I think we still would’ve dominated.”

Senior setter Riley Monroe led the way for the Knights with 34 assists and five aces.

“Riley did a great job,” said Vasko. “She mixed the ball up real well. She’s a huge part of our team with her setting ability and making the right choices at the right time. She also served outstanding like she always does.”

Outside hitter Joy Banks had 20 kills, 13 digs and three aces.

Nordonia began the week Oct. 6 with another breather, a 25-4, 25-15, 25-6 triumph over visiting Cuyahoga Falls.

Monroe had 32 assists and five aces, while Banks totaled 12 kills and nine digs.

“Joy is always one of our top hitters,” Vasko said. “She dominated a team that we should’ve dominated. She served well, too. She took care of business.”

Junior middle hitter/outside hitter Mya Sopata had 12 digs, nine kills and four aces. Senior middle hitter Aleana Mason contributed seven kills.

“Mya and Joy are great outside hitters,” said the coach. “It was a great performance by Aleana.”

Nordonia is scheduled to close out the regular season with a home match Oct. 13 against Twinsburg and a road match Oct. 15 at Wadsworth. Both are National Conference matches that are set to begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Knights are seeded second in the Hudson 3 Division I sectional tournament. They received a first-round bye and are scheduled to play the winner of the match between Cuyahoga Falls and Solon Oct. 17 at 4 p.m. at Nordonia.

“We’re confident right now, but we know we have a lot of work ahead of us,” Vasko said. “We’re going to have to play some tough teams in the postseason. We know we have to get better at certain things.

“We have to work very hard in the next few weeks at practice and make ourselves that much better. We have a great record. That speaks for itself, but you still have to work hard. Once you get in the playoffs, any team can beat you any day if you don’t come prepared.”