Friday, September 24, 2021

Independence sweeps visiting Hawken

Independence had little trouble dispatching visiting Hawken on Tuesday. The Blue Devils shrugged off a slow start in the first set and went on to win the match, 3-0.

“We did our thing,” said Independence coach Tony Messina. “We sputtered a little bit getting started in our first home match but we got it together. Our ball control was good, we were serving aggressively and we played good defense. That’s our culture and the girls are doing that.”

The Blue Devils, who improved to 2-0 on the year, won the first set, 25-12. They went on to win the next two, 25-8 and 25-15, to earn their second sweep in as many matches.

“We’re being led by two seniors in Katie May and Lexi Prokopius, both who are four-year varsity players, and three really good juniors in Maddie Bilinovic, who is going to play at Penn State, Katie Taliaferro, who is doing a great job in the middle, and Kallie Screptock,” Messina said. We have a sophomore in Grace Smotek, who is getting it done, and two freshmen making an impact in setter Abby Avila and Hannah Wilson.”

Messina has tinkered with his lineup to prepare for another October run and so far the Blue Devils have adjusted and thrived.

“The girls are playing well as a team,” he said. “Katie Taliaferro and Katie May played well. Hannah Wilson might have led the team in kills. She had a good day. Maddie kept the ball off the floor. Looking back, those four had really good days.”

Independence travels to West Geauga on Thursday and then to the Norwalk Invitational on Saturday.

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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