Monday, February 26, 2024

Hornets earn sweep at Wickliffe

Kirtland’s dream season continued on Tuesday with a 3-0 sweep over host Wickliffe.

With the win, the Hornets improved to 11-3 overall and 6-1 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Divison.

“It was so important to us,” Kirtland coach Arlayna Newcomer said. “We know that every single conference game matters and we have to show up ready to play if we want to stay at the top of the conference.”

The Hornets maintained their hold on first place in the league with three Valley Division games left on their schedule.

Kirtland won the match 25-20, 25-23, 25-16.

Success for the Hornets started at the service line as Abby Ruckel and Tessa Gordon each recorded six aces.

“This is an exciting time for our program,” Ruckel said. “We have been playing our game and trying to prove ourselves to the teams we are up against. I think that we were considered a dark horse after being placed fourth on the preseason rankings. We have been playing our game and working hard to get better and better.”

Stella DeJohn led the Hornets with nine kills and three blocks and Natalie Glowe contributed with eight kills and 24 digs.

Emma Simons pitched in with seven kills and Ava Golem recorded 23 digs.

Ruckel added 22 assists.

Since beating Grand Valley to move into a first-place tie with the Mustangs, the Hornets have won six straight sets.

“Tonight’s match was important because we are now realizing the pressure that each match holds,” Ruckel said. “We try to have all parts of our game strong and if we are lacking in one, we make it a point to try and fix it. We are having fun and I am really proud of what our team has done so far this season. Personally, I cannot be more excited because this is my first time in this position. It does hold some pressure, but we are taking it day by day and match by match.”

Elizabeth Lesco led Wickliffe with 18 digs and Samantha Telisman added seven kills and three blocks.

Steve Hare
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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