TALLMADGE: The Fairless and St. Vincent-St. Mary volleyball teams didn’t need a fourth set Wednesday.
Three sets were all that was necessary on James O. Maddox Court at Tallmadge in two sectional semifinals in which Fairless defeated North and St. V-M topped Buchtel.
St. V-M’s victory came via scores of 25-10, 25-15 and 25-16 in the nightcap.
The Irish relied on the leadership of seniors Madison Frericks, Kiley May, Mallory Zupke, Bianca Macreno, Lucia Vinzani, Sara Baughman and Katie Cicione.
“What I like about my team is that they are really starting to gel well together,” St. V-M coach Julie Laury said. “They know where each other needs to go and they are feeling very comfortable, and they have confidence in one another. They are very scrappy. They know that they can turn around if they do something wrong and someone will pat them on the back and pick them up to get them going again.”
Fairless and St. V-M will meet at 7 p.m. Saturday in a sectional final in a battle of the No. 4 and 5 seeds, respectively. The Tallmadge district features No. 1 seed Northwest. Norton and Archbishop Hoban are seeded second and third.
Junior Taylor Paolucci helped the Irish (11-12) win with 12 kills and Frericks added 15 assists. Jamie Piglia has 12 service points, including nine aces. May had 10 digs and sophomore Cami Miller blocked two shots.
Buchtel coach Francine E. Blake said the Griffins’ 15-8 record is their best in years.
“Last year we finished even at .500,” Blake said. “I have a young team. We will have a lot of girls coming back next year. My seniors were my leaders. [Senior] Bricil Clayton was my team captain and first-team All-City Series, along with [senior] Beunca Thomas. They were my team leaders. One kid I know will come back next year and work hard for me is [junior] Tionne El-Amin. I think with Tionne and Bricil we have done a fantastic job and our hitting has improved with them and with [sophomore] Maya Frazier.”
Frazier had 10 kills and four blocks. Thomas and senior Jene’e Anderson each totaled 10 service points, and El-Amin had 10 assists. Junior Briana Tate-Lockett added 11 digs.
Blake, a 1975 Buchtel graduate, also credited assistant coach Mary Howard for helping the Griffins improve. Howard formerly coached at Hoban and St. V-M. She guided Hoban to state titles in 1980 (Class AA) and in 1990, 1991 and 1992 in Division II.
Senior Hanna Hamilton led the Falcons (13-10) over the Vikings (0-22) by scores of 25-8, 25-5 and 25-13. Hamilton totaled 13 digs and seven kills.
“I am proud of our girls,” Fairless coach Debbie Pickering said. “They played really hard tonight keeping the ball in play. We communicated well and put the ball down. We had a lot of big hits and worked together as a team.”
Junior Allee Amstutz was steady with her serves and contributed 21 points and two aces.
Freshman Brooke Six (14 assists) and junior Olivia Snyder (three blocks) were also statistical leaders for Fairless.
North coach Paul Burnside said he was pleased with the play of seniors Sabria Meadows and Danielle Meurer and junior Markeysha Saulsberry.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.