Monday, February 6, 2023

Vikings sweep Windham to advance to regional final

It has been sweep dreams for Villa Angela-St. Joseph so far in the postseason.

One more dominant performance and the Vikings will wake up in the state final four.

On Oct. 29, VASJ ripped Windham in a Division IV regional semifinal at Solon, 25-11, 25-15, 25-12, to advance to the finals against Tuscarawas Central Catholic. The Vikings have swept four tournament matches thus far, and are one win away from a return trip to Fairborn for the state tournament.

VASJ will face Tuscarawas CC on Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. for a spot in the D-IV state semifinals.

Vikings junior setter Rachel Smith had 23 assists and played an outstanding match for VASJ in the regional semi rout.

Windham opened an early lead on the Vikings with five of the first six points, the majority coming off of big hits from Bombers senior middle hitter Dari Heller. But after being down early in the first set, VASJ scored 14 of the next 15 points, and 18 of the next 25 for an easy 25-11 win.

Senior outside hitter Toni Beuck led the Vikings to seven points in a row in the second set and VASJ went on to a 25-15 win.

Once again, Windham took an early lead in the third set, but like the previous two, VASJ rallied for an easy victory. A tip from Beuck and a block from Kiara Franks tied the set at 5, and two points later, Smith set up McKenna Walker and then Franks again for back-to-back kills. A block from Franks and a kill from senior Taylor Sawicki capped off 10 straight for the Vikings to give them a 16-7 lead before both teams traded three in a row. Kills from senior Danielle Paus and Sawicki put VASJ in the lead for good, and back-to-back errors on Windham gave the Vikings a 25-12 win in and a sweep to continue an unbeaten run in the postseason.

Tuscarawas CC also won, 3-0, in its regional semi over St. Thomas Aquinas.

The VASJ-Tuscarawas CC winner will face either Fort Laramie or Springfield Catholic Central on Nov. 6 in a D-IV state semi at Wright State University.

(Information for this story courtesy of The News-Herald)

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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