Beachwood first year head coach Sarah Schoenhagen set out this season to focus on the fundamentals and prepare her team to compete with the Chagrin Valley Conference’s top teams. She wasn’t concerned about wins and losses.
|Allonda Watkins had nine kills, seven blocks and nine digs|
After Thursday’s 3-2 win at Wickliffe, her Bison are 5-2 overall and already have matched their wins total from last season. Despite the early season success, Schoenhagen remains steadfast in preparing her players for the next challenge.
“We’re not really focusing on the past,” Schoenhagen said. “We just want to move forward. I think they‘re starting to realize what they can be capable of and they’re gaining more confidence. They’ll need that for when we play Independence on Thursday.”
The win at Wickliffe was the second straight for the Bison after a 3-0 setback to Cuyahoga Heights on Wednesday.
It didn’t come easily.
“It was a roller coaster ride,” Schoenhagen said. “I think that’s our theme right now. It’s all mental. We have all the skill in the world. Once the girls get more emotionally stable and get more confidence we’ll be fine.”
After falling behind the Blue Devils 10-1 in the first set the Bison rallied to win 26-24.
Wickliffe took a 2-1 lead with 25-15 and 26-15 wins in the second and third sets.
“Wickliffe’s big middle terrified them,” Schoenhagen said. “Our energy just dropped again. Once they figure out how to stay emotionally consistent through all the games they play we won’t have this roller coaster ride.”
With their backs against the wall, the Bison rallied for a 25-23 win in the fourth game and pulled out the decisive fifth set, 15-11.
Shaneice James and Cameron Leathers-Clayborne were Beachwood’s difference makers.
“Shaneice was probably the top all-around player today,” Schoenhagen said. “She had 12 kills and eight blocks. She also had a team-high 20 digs. Cameron hasn’t set a lot but we put her in today at the beginning of the third game and she was phenomenal. She came off the bench and owned it today.”
Leathers-Clayborne finished with 26 assists.
Valisha Watkins contributed with 16 kills and 13 digs. Allonda Watkins had nine kills, seven blocks and nine digs.