Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Badgers advance to district semifinals

Berkshire opened the postseason with a 3-0 win over visiting Girard in a Division III sectional championship game on Saturday.

The third-seeded Badgers won the match 25-13, 25-21, 25-17 to advance to Wednesday’s district semifinals against No. 2 Garrettsville Garfield, a 3-0 winner over Kirtland.

“I’m satisfied with the win,” Berkshire coach Joni Prots said. “They fought through a few rocky moments in game two and pulled it out and then finished well in game three.”

Madison Chapman led the Badgers with 15 kills and also recorded 10 digs. Delaney Tucek pitched in with 11 digs, eight kills and seven points. Julia Kastor contributed with six kills, six digs, four points and three blocks and Kayla Dingman finished with 13 points, four aces and four digs.

“We played good defense today and were smart on offense,” Prots said. “Delaney and Maddie swung well from the outside and Julia had a great game in the middle.”

Olivia Freiling posted team-highs with 19 assists and 14 digs and also finished with five points and three aces.

“On offense, I try my best to move it around to get the blockers on the other side of the net off as well as their back row defense,” Freiling said. “Also, my offensive decisions can depend on the pass. When there is a great pass we try to run a play and get our hitters moving around. When I am on defense, I try to discipline myself to get to where I need to be. I also will tell myself that this ball is coming to me to get myself ready and already moving. Defense is my favorite because it feels just as good to get a great up then an amazing kill.”

Berkshire improved to 14-9 on the year after entering the postseason having lost three of their last four matches.

The win righted the ship and provides the Badgers with the momentum they need to maneuver through the district bracket.

“I have confidence in all my teammates,” Freiling said. “We are all strong players. We have had a bit of a rollercoaster (season) but I believe we have bounced back from it by learning what can be done to fix all the details. Today was a great win, we all clicked together and I know that today fixed that rollercoaster. To fix it we told ourselves to be ready every time we step into the gym and to play our game and focus on what coaches have been pushing us to do.”

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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