Throw out the records, ignore the hype. It’s a battle anytime Independence and neighbor Cuyahoga Heights get together on the playing field, regardless of the sport.
That was the case in Tuesday’s Chagrin Valley Conference Metro Division volleyball match at Cuyahoga Heights, won by the Blue Devils, 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 25-27, 25-10).
“As always it was intense in there and intense with the rivalry,” said Independence coach Megan Osysko. I don’t think we played as well as we did against Aurora and Magnificat but it was a good battle. We found a way to win.”
The Blue Devils, who improved to 3-0, won the first two games despite not playing their best.
“I don’t think we ever really got into our groove,” Osysko said. “We just found a way to win, which in games like that sometimes you gut through it and get the W.”
Cuyahoga Heights made it interesting with a 27-25 win in the third game.
The Blue Devils held an early advantage but couldn’t hold the lead as the Redskins extended the match.
“It was a tight match,” Osysko said. “They went up and then finished the game on us. We settled down in game four and finished it out.”
Senior captain Megan Screptock again was a dominating force for the Blue Devils.
She recorded team highs in kills (19) and digs (11) and provided leadership on the court.
“She didn’t struggle but she really wasn’t in her groove or even had one of her better games,” Osysko said. “She still had 19 kills. She battled and she pulled through for the team.”
Osysko also credited setter Hallie Zumack for moving the ball around and Victoria Sirna for her seven kills.
“Hallie did a good job distributing the ball and we found a way to find the floor over there and make it work,” Osysko said. “Vic had a good game today in the middle. She did a nice job of finding the floor with a season high seven kills. That’s definitely a good match for her.”
Independence used a team effort on defense.
Mallory Trombetta led the squad with 14 digs, Screptock had 11 and Maura Collins had 10.
“Again our defense was good,” Osysko said. “We had three people in double digits again. I’m happy with that.
Independence hosts Perry on Thursday then travels to Huron on Saturday.