After Thursday’s devastating loss to rival Berkshire, Cardinal coach Karisca Chambers wasn’t sure what to expect out of her team during Saturday’s tournament at Chardon.
The Huskies responded with a second place finish and both Maddie Bean and Haley Adams were named to the all-tournament team.
“We talked about that but we weren’t sure how their mood was going to be at this point in the season because we suffered such a big loss and that we needed to kind of pump them up and keep their energy high and their spirits high and keep them positive,” Chambers said. “They showed up Saturday in great moods ready to play. What’s nice about them is they didn’t let that loss defeat the whole season.”
Cardinal opened the tournament with a 25-18, 25-14 win over Norton.
“It went well,” Chambers said. “When we showed up we played right away. We beat Norton in two; it was a best of three for this tournament. We came out ready to play and started off pretty strong. That was our first morning game of the season and we weren’t really sure how the girls were going to do that early. They had to be at the school at 7:30 and they looked exhausted.”
After defeating Orange, 27-25, in the first set of the semifinals round the Huskies showed some of the sluggishness Chambers expected. They trailed the Lions, 20-10, before rallying to win 27-25.
“It was crazy,” Chambers said. “That was so special for us and a special moment for this season because we lost to Berkshire and came back. Having a 10-point lead, that’s extremely difficult to come back, not only to get the score a little closer, but to come back and win. That was the highlight of the whole tournament.”
The Huskies then fell to Tallmadge, 25-16, 25-23, in the championship match.
Caitlyn Lechene led the Huskies with 19 kills on the day while Jordyn Schultz pitched in with 15 and Adams had nine. Megan Zeigler recorded 25 digs in the three matches and Bean finished with 48 assists to earn her spot on the all-tournament team.
“It was really amazing to be recognized as a player that stands out,” Bean said. “I've worked hard and it's great to realize that hard work pays off. It feels honored to be chosen and I also want to thank the coaches that chose me.”
Adams’ selection was a pleasant surprise to her coach.
“It was a surprise to us that they chose Haley only for the fact that she didn’t have as many standout stats, however she had a solid afternoon,” Chambers said. “She didn’t make many errors. I think that’s what stood out to the other coaches. They saw her serving was well and she placed the ball and tipped it here and there or had a nice hit here and there. She did a nice job at picking apart the other teams as a whole. I think the coaches saw that and chose her.”
Kaylee Klepper also had a big day for the Huskies in the front row and Trisha Cesar did her part in Cardinal’s 2-1 tournament run.
“Kaylee Klepper played right front and did a nice job,” Chambers said. “She served for Delaney (Leichtman) and played front row for Delaney. She had a couple kills and played solid. Trisha Cesar is now my other starting middle. Making that switch helped us because Trisha is able to get touches and blocks. She is quick in the middle and Kaylee seemed more comfortable on the right side.”
Cardinal travels to Harvey on Tuesday then hosts Cuyahoga Heights on Thursday. The Huskies will play in the Chagrin Falls tournament on Saturday, where they’ll get another crack at Berkshire before their second league matchup at Berkshire on Oct. 8.
The Huskies are looking forward to both games against their rivals.
“At Friday's practice our coach had told us that we had a tough loss but that should only make us want to beat them more next time we play them,” Bean said. “She also had told us that we had to keep it in the past because we have more games coming up that we had to win and when the time came around to play them again we will come out hungrier to beat them. We all agreed that one loss was not gonna’ break our team.”