The Hudson girls volleyball team will have home-court advantage Wednesday night in a Division I regional semifinal match against Wadsworth.
The meeting will be the second this season between the teams, as Wadsworth secured a regular-season home victory over Hudson on Sept. 21 in three sets.
Wadsworth coach Jill Klingbeil said it will be a whole new match Wednesday.
“It is a good thing that we have seen them before, but at the same time it is tournament time so it is a totally different season,” Klingbeil said. “We have to stay focused on what we want to do and not take anything for granted because we beat them the first time. They have a good team and they have improved. It will be a tough test.”
Jackson and Mayfield meet in the opening match at 6 p.m. and Hudson and Wadsworth will follow at about 7:30 p.m. The championship is 2 p.m. Saturday.
Wadsworth (22-3) strolled through the Suburban League with a 14-0 record, and it won the Barberton district title with victories over Garfield, Cloverleaf and Medina.
Wadsworth features seniors Ciera Koons, Peyton Booth, Madison Gilger, Erin Zita and Andrea Beavers. Klingbeil said juniors Rachel Pressley and Maria Sansonetti also contribute regularly with sophomores Jodi Johnson and Haley Witschey.
Hudson’s home-court advantage shouldn’t be that big of a deal, Klingbeil said.
“Once you actually step on that court, it doesn’t really matter at that point,” Klingbeil said. “The game is the game. Once you step into the lines, all that matters is the game.”
Hudson (19-6) relies on seniors Krissy Mummey and Celia Cristofoli and juniors Jordan Mackay, Gina Holland and Sarah Young. Sophomore twins Amanda Przybocki and Maddie Przybocki also make an impact with sophomore Olivia Baumhoer and freshman Alena Madar on a team that was co-champions with Mentor in the NOC Lake.
The Explorers won the Stow district after victories over Nordonia, Walsh and Kent Roosevelt. Coach Jessica Ciborek led Hudson all season while pregnant until giving birth to a boy Wednesday. Assistant Annie Pinegar filled in Thursday against Kent.
“Everything is going well with him,” said Ciborek, whose status for coaching Wednesday is “still up in the air.”
“It depends on how my recovery is going and how my son is doing,” she said. “I was unable to watch the other night, but I heard all about it. I am happy they were happy to finish it off.”
Jackson (23-3, 12-0) earned the Federal League title and then won the Lake district championship with triumphs over Canton McKinley, Perry, Louisville and GlenOak. Seniors Kate Regas, Rachel Seifert, Jen Slogar and Demi Edwards lead the Polar Bears. Sophomores Brooke Bailey and Kelly Klimo and juniors Olivia Zanolli and Stephanie Spencer are also key players.
“You just hope that their experience from last year (state runner-up) and the year before (regional runner-up) pays dividends,” Jackson coach Jeff Walck said. “You can’t come in too emotionally high and you can’t be flat-lined either. You try to play steady and limit the unforced errors.”
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.