HUDSON: Putting together a large lead quickly Thursday night allowed everyone in a Hudson uniform to get on the volleyball court.
Explorers tri-captains Krissy Mummey, Celia Cristofoli and Jordan Mackay didn’t mind.
Nor did their coach, Jessica Ciborek, as she watched the team put together an efficient effort in a 3-0 Northeast Ohio Conference Lake Division victory over visiting Twinsburg (4-7, 1-4) in Hyser Gymnasium. The Explorers (11-4, 4-1) topped the Tigers 25-10, 25-16 and 25-19.
“Tonight’s win was really solid,” Mummey said. “We got our bench in and I was very proud of them for stepping up and holding the lead. They didn’t let down. They played with the same intensity that the starters did, which was awesome to see.”
Mummey, a 6-foot-3 senior and College of Charleston recruit, finished the match with eight kills, three blocks and 13 service points.
Mackay, a 6-foot-1 junior, had nine kills on spikes and junior Alyssa Disandis added 26 assists. Juniors Sarah Young and Gina Holland both had 14 digs.
“I like that these girls really want to win and they are fighters,” Ciborek said. “We are moving a lot better on defense and we are able to run our offense because we are passing a lot better. That is a huge turnaround from last season. I think that is going to help us.
“Our team goals this year are to win our division, and obviously we want to do as well as we can in the [Division I] district tournament coming up. We are trying to prepare for that as best as we can.”
Hudson built leads in the first two sets, but had to overcame a deficit in the third set to clinch the win.
“Our team is very head strong,” said Mackay, whose final kill ended the match. “We were able to snap out of the dips that we created and come back.”
While the numbers were nice on the stat sheet, the Hudson starters were more focused on taking a back seat to their friends off the bench.
Senior Georgia Lindner and junior Allison Rense played extended time for Hudson along with sophomores Maddie Przybocki, Amanda Przybocki, Olivia Baumhoer and Lindsay Schlabach and freshman Alena Madar
“For the first two sets, we got ahead in the beginning so that a lot of our bench got in,” Cristofoli said.
“Those girls support us all year. I thought we did a good job executing from the beginning so we could get some different people on the court and get some more chemistry going.”
Hudson is the only team to hand state-ranked Jackson a loss this season.
“I feel no pressure, not at all because we are the biggest underdog team that I can think of right now,” Cristofoli said. “When we get out on the court we play to play. We don’t have that pressure like ‘Oh, we have to beat this team.’ We don’t have the state ranking. We work hard and the outcome against Jackson was awesome.”
Twinsburg is looking to improve in the season’s second half under coach Tonia Brennen.
“[Senior] Mackenzie Harrison is our lead offensive player,” Brennen said. “She is our kill leader every match. She plays great and does the best that she can do, just like [senior] Natalie Talentino. She is our libero and the ball doesn’t touch the court in her area.”
Harrison and senior middle hitter Caiti Flaherty are the Tigers co-captains.
“We play six sophomores and three seniors, so we are very young,” Brennen said.
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.