KIRTLAND—Down 2-1 to visiting Hawken, Kirtland’s young volleyball team grew up in a hurry.
The Hornets won the fourth set, 27-25, and pulled out a dramatic 15-12 win in the decisive fifth set to win the match, 3-2.
“We came back from being down 2-1 and that really showed the heart of this team,” said Kirtland coach Bob Schenosky. “This game was huge for them. We can say it all we want at practice but for them to see it in action and understand what a win like that means to them, it's just going to grow their confidence dramatically.”
Kirtland improved to 1-1 after dropping a three-set match to West Geauga on Tuesday.
“What I told our girls after the game, without exception, they all did their job and more,” Schenosky said. “They're young but we've already seen tremendous development from our Tuesday match. They were all close games but we lost. That's going to be the key for a young team. The talent is certainly there now it's just confidence and understanding that even if a sophomore, junior or freshman that they can come in and compete with the seniors.”
The Hornets opened the match with a rally fueled by diving plays and hustle.
Hawken led 6-1 early in the first set but Kirtland scored seven of the next nine points to tie it at 8-8. They ended up winning the set, 25-20.
The Hawks responded with wins in the next two sets, 25-21 and 25-23.
“I thought both teams played exceptionally well,” Schenosky said. “Hawken did a great job. They’ve got some tremendous hitters up front.”
The fourth set was filled with action as both teams rallied from behind to take the lead. The Hawks rallied from an 18-12 deficit and held a 25-24 advantage before the Hornets scored three straight points to force a fifth set.
“Our girls were in great shape,” Schenosky said. “I think that helped going into game five. We've got a very young team but all the kids are coming along so rapidly. It's a lot of fun to see the development.”
The fifth set was even closer and more intense than the previous four.
No team led by more than two points before junior Anna Shuppe made a diving dig to keep the ball alive with the Hornets leading 12-11.
Shuppe went on to serve the winning point.
“She was great in the front row,” Schenosky said. “She came up with some big serves at the end of the game.”
Krista Robejsek recorded the match-ending block.
“Krista was great in the middle,” Schenosky said. “The last two games, Krista went double-double in the first match against West Geauga in blocks and kills and I wouldn't be surprised to see those kind of numbers again. To the player, I thought they all did a great job.”
Schenosky called it a complete team win.
“Elise Frazee is our libero this year. She's a junior captain. She did a great job,” he said. “Lauren Snyder came in and played some great defense as well. Emily Nerderman, I don't even know how many assists she had but she played great. She's our team leader. Katherine Skrbis and I thought our hitters did a nice job. Back row was phenomenal.”
Kirtland hosts Cardinal on Tuesday.