Thursday, August 18, 2022

Healthy Hornets upset Newton Falls

BURTON—Injuries prevented Kirtland’s volleyball team from playing many regular season games at full strength but on Thursday the Hornets opened the postseason with its starting lineup intact.

The fifth-seeded Hornets used that opportunity to pull off an upset of No. 4 Newton Falls at Berkshire High School, 3-0.

“I can’t say enough about the girls today,” said Kirtland coach Bob Schenosky. “They came to play. We’ve been working very hard the last couple of weeks to get ready for playoffs and we finally have everyone healthy.”

Kirtland held off a late charge by the Tigers to win the first game, 25-21, then rallied from a 23-18 deficit to win game two, 26-24.

That momentum carried the Hornets to an easy 25-14 win in the final set.

“What we’ve talked about continuously is, I believe in them and I think they’re a good team and it’s a matter of them believing in themselves,” Schenosky said of the second set comeback. “When we’re down a few points, it’s about coming back and getting two at a time and then two more and two more and not worrying about what size the deficit is. It’s just keep fighting back for every single point. You just saw it on the court; their confidence grew with every single point. When we got to 24-24, I thought they believed they were going to win.”

Emma Bartholomew came off the bench to deliver several key serves during Kirtland’s second set comeback and Katherine Skrbis hammered home a few important kills.

Lilly Kelemen was dominant at the net in the win.

“We moved Lilly into the front today to go against their big middle and I thought she came out with a couple of great blocks early and I think that set the tone for the game,” Schenosky said. “Emma Bartholomew came in and made serves at the end of the game to pull us back in the second game and it was nice to see Katherine Skrbis healthy and back. I thought she had a terrific game hitting the ball today.”

Overall, the Hornets played as well as they have all season and they’ll need to build off that performance in Wednesday’s district semifinals against top-seeded Berkshire.

“I thought our net play was excellent and serving was good as well,” Schenosky said. “We had some issues early on with some of the serve receive but I thought we picked that up quite well. I think the biggest thing for the girls was really the hustle and the effort. It’s as good as I’ve seen all year long, there was no quit in them at all. I think that was the key. Once they were able to put away game two their confidence just grew and they came out in game three on fire.”

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.

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles

Independence sweeps Chagrin Falls, Orange

Independence posted the top five scores in earning a tri-match sweep over Chagrin Falls and Orange at Fowler’s Mill Golf Course on Wednesday.

Girls Soccer Preview: Edgewood Warriors

A new coach and a large group of returning starters have the Edgewood girls’ soccer program optimistic about its chances this fall.

Boys Soccer Preview: Lutheran West Longhorns

Lutheran West finished as the runner-up in the Chagrin Valley Conference Metro Division last fall but the Longhorns aren’t satisfied.

Boys Golf Preview: Berkshire Badgers

Berkshire’s boys’ golf team is off to a fast start this fall and the sky is the limit for the Badgers.

Volleyball Preview: Geneva Eagles

Geneva’s volleyball team returns five starters and the Eagles are looking to soar to the top of the Chagrin Valley Conference Lake Division standings this fall.