MIDDLEFIELD—Cardinal’s Senior Night turned into a league title celebration after the Huskies defeated visiting Richmond Heights on Tuesday, 3-0.
With their 25-14, 25-12, 25-18 win, the Huskies claimed their first outright Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division title since 2014. They previously shared the title with Berkshire in 2015.
“Finally,” said a relieved Cardinal coach Karisca Chambers. “It’s so fun to finally say that word but this is something we’ve been working toward. Not that any year has been a building year for us but I just knew this was the year for us. These seniors have put in so much work, so much effort, so much time, so much commitment to this program and they are amazing leaders. I think it’s just setting up the program for many years to come but it’s owed to these seniors 100-percent.”
Seniors Camille Cummins, Kaylee Klepper, Ashley Gubanyar, Faith Peters and Hailey Francis led the way for the Huskies.
Cummins finished with 16 kills, four blocks and seven digs while Klepper hammered home seven kills and recorded nine digs. Gubanyar finished with 12 digs and Francis added three digs and a pair of blocks. Peters pitched in with 10 digs and three kills.
Freshman Haley Domen contributed with 25 assists and six digs and junior Andrea Mack added five kills, five blocks and three digs for the Huskies, who improved to 18-3 overall and 13-0 in league play.
Cardinal’s success started with the offseason work the Huskies put in and continued into the season as the Huskies came together as a team.
“It’s the team chemistry this year,” Chambers said. “This is the most team chemistry I’ve seen and I’ve been coaching since I was 19 years old. These girls just love to be here. Sometimes with practice, it’s like pulling teeth to want them to be here. These guys always want to be here and they have a bigger goal this year. The fact we’ve done so well in our conference really shows us we can compete at the next level and that’s what we’re focused on now.”
The Huskies will try to close out their league schedule without a loss when they host Wickliffe. After that, Cardinal will focus its attention on the Division III Berkshire District tournament.
The Huskies earned the No. 1 seed but could see several familiar foes as they work their way through the bracket.
League rivals Kirtland and Berkshire are in the bottom half of the bracket. The Hornets and Badgers split their regular season series.
“We won the conference outright but it’s going to be a tough battle for that bracket,” Chambers said. “We’re on the other side of the bracket so we may not see them until the finals. It’s going to be a tough district this year but I’m excited to see what we can do.”