Monday, February 6, 2023

Youth served as Independence sweeps Wickliffe

Independence recognized its youth players prior to Thursday’s conference game against Wickliffe. The Blue Devils then went out and swept their conference rivals, 25-13, 25-8, 25-20.

With the win, the Blue Devils improved to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division.

“The girls kept their focus and got the job done,” said Independence head coach Megan Osysko. “We’re constantly working on our stuff so that by the end of the year everything will just click.”

The Blue Devils already are clicking with their fans, especially the younger ones.

“Before the game our girls threw out some volleyballs to them and by the end of the match a couple girls had youngers ones coming up to sign autographs for them because the younger ones really look up to them,” Osysko said. “It’s fun for me to see my girls have these young girls come up to them because it shows they have somebody looking up to them. That helps to build a program. That was exciting to see.”

On the court, Independence was just as exciting.

Lexi Prokopius led the team with 14 kills while Emily Magas and Hallie Zumack pitched in with five apiece. Zumack led the team with 14 service points and Maura Collins finished the night with 10 kills and 19 digs.

“We did a very good job of taking care of the ball on our side,” Osysko said. “Lexi had a pretty big match. She ended up with 14 kills, so that was great to her do that and Maura had another big game for us.”

After taking a 2-0 lead Osysko emptied her bench and let her younger varsity players gain some valuable experience. They finished off the match with a 25-20 win.

“By game three we actually took out Hallie, Magas and Ashley Thompson didn’t go in,” Osysko said. “Mal (Trombetta) was our only senior in there. It was a good opportunity for our younger girls to play and compete. They did well and ended up finishing up the game with win.”

Independence travels to West Geauga on Tuesday then hosts Chagrin Falls on Thursday.

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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