CHESTERLAND–Cardinal rallied back from a 0-2 deficit to beat host West Geauga in the season opener for both teams on Saturday, 3-2.
West Geauga won the first two games, 25-22 and 25-23, before the Huskies mounted their comeback. Cardinal won the final three games, 26-24, 25-20, 15-7.
“Our focus this year is to not get down on ourselves,” said Cardinal coach Karisca Chambers. “In years past, we’ve had our emotions take control and we didn’t’ win these close matches. This year, the seniors especially, they said no matter if we’re down or if we’re up our demeanor will never change. We’re going to stay strong, have fun and stay together the whole way through and that’s what we did.”
Cardinal led by at least four points in each game.
That didn’t faze the Wolverines, who overcame a nine-point deficit in the second game to go up 2-0.
“In the first two games we really worked hard,” said West Geauga coach Amber Baker. “All five games were back and forth. I think we got a little too comfortable and started making minor errors and miscommunications and people not doing their jobs properly. It just fell apart little by little and we weren’t able to bring it all back together, which is a shame.”
Camille Cummins and Kaylee Klepper had a lot to do with that.
Cummins led the Huskies with 18 kills and Klepper added 15. Klepper began game two with nine straight service points.
“CiCi played awesome. She had one of the best games defensively and offensively with 18 kills,” Chambers said. “Kaylee Klepper stepped up as our other outside hitter too. Haley Domen is learning each game. She did a nice job mixing up the sets and I thought our defense was really solid as well. That helped us out a lot.”
Alyssa Ranallo led West Geauga with 15 kills.
“We have a lot of stuff to be proud of,” Baker said. “We did a lot of things right. Our outside hitter, Alyssa Ranallo, had about 15 kills. We had some good blocks and our back row players did OK. We were doing well on serves until it started falling apart in that third game. We have the tools that we need; we just need to pull it all together. There’s no reason for them to hang their heads. We fought hard and it was a great match. Congratulations to Cardinal, they just wanted it more than us today.”
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