By Joe Ostrica
In its quest for a West Shore Conference championship, the Bay volleyball team swept North Ridgeville last week on a Volley for The Cure night. With a 25-18, 25-17, 26-24 win over the Lady Rangers, the Lady Rockets improved to 17-3 overall and 9-1 in the WSC. A win Tuesday at Elyria Catholic will lock up the league title for Bay.
North Ridgeville head coach Dana Peterson was pleased to see her team battle one of the league’s elite teams on the road.
“Bay is right now first in the conference, and it looks like they’re going to be conference champs,” she said. “My girls played with their heart every point, every minute of this game. We did have a good lead. I thought we were going to pull out a win in game three, but they had a good server and we couldn’t adjust to her. I’m still very proud of them.”
Although North Ridgeville had just one WSC win coming into Bay, the Lady Rangers came out ready to compete from the beginning. Ridgeville and Bay were tied 10-10 in the first game. A small run made it 19-16 Rockets before Bay closed out the first victory with a 6-2 run.
After North Ridgeville led early in the second game, the Rockets’ 6-0 run made it 12-7 and Bay had little trouble wrapping up their second win. An injury to a key Bay setter gave North Ridgeville some hope in the third game, but the Lady Rockets managed to hold off the Lady Rangers’ attempt at a rally.
Bay setter Katie McFeeley left the contest after aggravating a quad injury during the second set. She had 20 assists before exiting the contest. Tahan inserted backup setter Claire Werblak to take her spot. The Lady Rangers took a surprising early lead thanks to its strong service game, but Bay did not panic and evened the score 20-20 before a North Ridgeville timeout.
With the score tied three more times after the time out, with the final one at 24-24, Bay put the game away.
Despite the loss, Peterson said she was pleased with her team’s blocking.
“Our blocking has picked up since the last time we played them,” Peterson said. “We knew No. 7 (Rachel Vick) was a very good hitter, so we tried to put up a double block every time she went to hit. My girls stepped in on defense because we knew if she was going to hit the ball she was going to hit it down. We watched her a lot.”
Peterson said her team needs to develop more confidence and a killer instinct to finish games.
“They don’t know what it’s like to be ahead and get to 25 points first,” she said. “They’ve made great strides all season long, and they astound me some nights the way they play.
“Eventually, a couple years down the road we’re going to have that winning mentality. It’s going to be a part of North Ridgeville volleyball. They just need to have that extra push in them.”
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