Monday, February 6, 2023

Independence sweeps Beachwood

Independence cruised to wins in the first two sets of Thursday’s Chagrin Valley Conference Metro Division volleyball match against visiting Beachwood. The Blue Devils then fought off game point several times in the third set to sweep the Bison, 3-0.

Victoria Sirna had 5 aces

The Blue Devils, who improved to 10-0 overall and 5-0 in CVC play, won the match, 25-11, 25-17, 29-27.

“We were down to game point in the third game quite a few times and fought back,” said Independence head coach Megan Osysko. “They fought through it and they stepped up and we won the match.”

Independence recorded 50 kills and 53 digs in the match, with most of the attack points coming in the first two games.

“They started blocking us (in the third set),” Osysko said. “Their middles were closing the block. They can jump out of their shoes.”

Shaneice James led the Bison with six blocks. Allonda Watkins contributed with five.

The third set left Beachwood first year coach Sarah Schoenhagen confident her team can rebound from the loss.

“The first two games I thought we were very tight and nervous. We played hard but just tight and nervous. The third game, they finally relaxed a little bit and had a little bit of fun,” Schoenhagen said. “That was good because they saw they could stay with Independence. We can play with them and be a top caliber team with Independence.”

Beachwood dropped to 7-3 overall and 3-2 in league play.

After winning just seven games the past two seasons, Schoenhagen’s Bison have earned respect around the league and the rookie coach knows it’s time for her players to play with confidence.

“That’s not the result I wanted but we’re moving into the second half of the season and we’re starting to play these teams again and have a second shot at some of them,” Schoenhagen said. “Now the girls know what they can do and people respect them and believe that we’re good. (The girls) have to hop on the bandwagon. I feel like everyone else is on the bandwagon except for them.”

Count Osysko as one of the opposing coaches impressed with Beachwood’s resurgence.

“(Schoenhagen) has done a really nice job with them,” she said. “I just think we had a great team effort. My team played well.”

Megan Screptock led the Blue Devils with 17 kills and added 10 digs. Hallie Zumack recorded a team-high 37 assists, Mallory Trombetta posted a team-best 17 digs and Victoria Sirna led Independence with five aces.

Valisha Watkins led the Bison with four kills, Jada Stevens recorded nine digs and Jaelyn Pounds led Beachwood with five assists.

Independence hosts the Rene Roche Invitational on Saturday. Beachwood hosts Hawken on Tuesday.

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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