Monday, February 6, 2023

Cardinal ends rival’s perfect season

Throw away the records anytime Berkshire and Cardinal get together on the court. The heated neighborhood rivalry always brings out the best in both teams and Tuesday’s Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division contest was no different.

Cardinal overcame a first set loss to defeat the host Badgers, 3-1, to improve to 6-5 overall. Berkshire dropped to 5-1.

“It was nice to pull it out,” said Cardinal coach Lisa Shirkey. “Their crowds are always interesting and they have a big student section. They had their pep band there. The gym was hot and it gets loud.”

The revved up Badgers took the first set, 25-22, which amped up the crowd even more.

“Berkshire came out ready to play,” Shirkey said. “I think that set us back and we lost the first set. We didn’t play our game and didn’t stick to the game plan we had going in. I knew if we did that we’d be fine and I wasn’t worried, but we got away from that on defense the whole first set.”

The Huskies responded with a 25-15 win in the second set to even the match at a game apiece.

They won the third set, 25-20.

“I was never worried about us pulling that one out,” Shirkey said. “We needed to run a quicker offense and once we started doing that we were able to pick them apart.”

Cardinal finished off the Badgers with a 25-16 win in the fourth set.

“We came back and won and that’s where I think we’re showing our veteran status,” Shirkey said. “We have a little more mental toughness than in years past. We’ve just got to play our game. We have the personnel to do it.”

Alyssa Shirkey led the Huskies with 13 kills and tied Kaitlin Bean with a team-high 18 digs. Shirkey also recorded two blocks. Bean contributed with eight kills.

Megan Zeigler recorded three service aces and 13 digs and Caitlyn Lechene had three aces, two blocks and four digs.

Maddie Bean had a big night with seven kills, 21 assists, seven digs and two aces.

“Maddie Bean had an awesome game,” Shirkey said. “She had a great game setting-wise and she had some nice attacks as far as setter dumps. Megan Zeigler played really well at libero and had some strong service. She was pretty solid tonight.

“Alyssa played a solid game and we always have Kaitlin Bean we can go to. That’s what’s nice. We have so many players that stand out.”

The Huskies host Kirtland on Thursday in another key CVC Valley Division match.

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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