Thursday, September 21, 2023

Blue Devils sweep Redskins in 6th annual Spike for Mike game

The 6th annual Spike for Mike volleyball game ended the same way as the fifth, with an Independence sweep of rival Cuyahoga Heights.

Emily Magas had 12 kills

The Blue Devils, who improved to 14-0 overall and 6-0 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Metro Division, swept the Redskins, 25-7, 25-20, 25-13.

“It was a good atmosphere and the stands were packed,” said Independence head coach Megan Osysko. “Any match that we’re able to go hard against our rival and come out on top we’re happy with, especially it being the second time against a conference team.”

The Spike for Mike game was created in honor of former Independence volleyball supporter Michael DeFranco. All proceeds from the event benefit the Michael DeFranco Scholarship Fund and raise awareness of Colon Cancer.

Emily Magas, who ended the night with 12 kills and four serving aces, got the Blue Devils off to a fast start in the first set.

“She did a very good job of transitioning off the net and reaching high for some nice kills,” Osysko said. “Hallie (Zumack) did a really good job of getting to the balls and getting great sets for all our hitters.”

Zumack finished the match with 36 assists.

The momentum shifted a bit in the second set as the Redskins made a run at the Blue Devils but in the end Independence had too much firepower and pulled out the five-point win.

“We had a couple serving errors,” Osysko said. “I would say that game was on us. It’s not like we got complacent but you beat them in the first match and it’s hard to come back and try to keep that same level of intensity.”

Megan Screptock led the team with 14 kills and she added six aces.

Mallory Trombetta and Maura Collins kept the ball off the floor on the defensive end. Trombetta led the team with 15 digs and Collins had 12.

“Mallory and Maura played some great defense again,” Osysko said. “We’ve been working on trying to read the hitters and they’re doing a nice job of that.”

Independence recorded just one block on the night as the Blue Devils altered their approach at the net.

“We slowed the ball down,” Osysko said. “We didn’t really stuff them but our blocks slowed the ball down and we were able to play defense around it.”

Independence plays Richmond Heights on Thursday. 

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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