PEPPER PIKE—Perry swept the first two games of its Chagrin Valley Conference and season opener at Orange on Monday and then the Pirates had to fight off the Lions to win the match, 3-1.
The win was the first in head coach Brooke Mako’s career.
“That was exciting,” Mako said. “I was nervous in an excited way but I just wanted to get the ball rolling. I’m not going to lie; when they took the third set from us part of me was like, ‘Uh oh, come on.’”
Perry and Orange battled throughout the first set with no team leading by more than two points until senior outside hitter Alyssa Edmiston got hot and led the Pirates on a 5-0 run to push their lead to 18-13.
Edmiston finished with four kills in that first game to lead Perry to a 25-17 win.
“Alyssa started off in game one with five attempts and she had four kills, which is awesome,” Mako said. “She did a really good job leading the team. Even in game three, even though we lost, she had three kills and she did a great job serving as well.”
The Pirates won the second game, 25-23.
Orange opened the third set with six straight points and went on to win, 25-16.
“We had a great first game against a solid team,” said Orange coach Jen Gold. “We are looking forward to improvement in our season ahead of us.”
Senior Maria Burdjalov led the Lions with 13 kills while senior Haley Shedden posted a team-high 24 assists. Sophomore Lena Gurunlouglu recorded 14 digs and senior Katie Hoover had three service aces. Junior Sophia Garcia Olalla pitched in with four blocks for the Lions.
“Our senior leaders on the floor including Katie Hoover, Maria Burdjalov, Carly Stark and Haley Shedden led our team through communication and hard work,” Gold said.
Perry ended the match with a 25-15 win in the fourth set.
Junior outside hitter Ella Fearing and freshman setter Maddie Tharp were among the standouts for the Pirates.
“Alyssa really helped carry the team and our other outside hitter, Ella Fearing, did a great job as well,” Mako said. “Maddy, our freshman setter, did a nice job. I’m really proud of how the girls were able to work together because me being a new coach, we really put a focus on teamwork and doing things together. I thought they did that really well.”
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