Hudson is the place to be Thursday night for volleyball fans as three of the best area squads will be in action in a Division I regional tournament.
Hudson (21-4) and Wadsworth (15-10) will play in the opening semifinal at 6 p.m., and Jackson (24-2) will play Painesville Riverside (23-3) in the nightcap about 7:30 p.m.
Explorers coach Jessica Ciborek said she is counting on two of her most experienced players to continue to lead Hudson, which is ranked No. 15 in the state coaches poll.
“Jordan Mackay is our middle blocker who plays all the way around,” Ciborek said. “She is a co-captain and a leader on the team. She has been playing well as a big hitter for us all year. ... Setter Alyssa Disandis is also a co-captain and she has been doing an excellent job running our offense this year. She is a leader and a consistent player.”
Seniors Allison Rense, Sarah Young and Gina Holland also figure prominently in Hudson’s attack, along with sophomore Alena Madar and juniors Lindsay Schlabach, Olivia Baumhoer, Madison Przybocki and Amanda Przybocki, who are twins.
Ciborek said Hudson’s last loss was to North Royalton on Sept. 2.
Wadsworth features twin sisters Jodi Johnson and Jenna Johnson, who are juniors.
Senior setter Maria Sansonetti is another key player in a Grizzlies attack that also includes sophomores Sophia Chirumbole and Olivia Chaney, junior Haley Witschey, seniors Rachel Pressley, Olivia Fortner and Jenna Oplinger and freshman Lexi Lance.
“The cool thing about this group is that they are really close with each other,” Wadsworth coach Jill Klingbeil said. “It is like they are all best friends on and off the court, even though we have some young players who maybe don’t have the experience. The older girls help bring them up and promote a team atmosphere.”
Fifth-ranked Jackson is led by senior co-captains Olivia Zanolli, a setter, and Stephanie Spencer, an outside hitter. Junior outside hitter Brooke Bailey is also a presence at the net.
“We are certainly excited for this opportunity,” Jackson coach Jeff Walck said. “We bring a ton of experience from last year into this team, and I think you will see that next year with just two seniors in this year’s group. We hope that experience this year helps us out.”
Juniors Kelly Klimo, Ally Boggs, Gia DiLoreto and Julia Adams and sophomores Alex Spencer and Jenna Vance are also impact players for the Polar Bears.
The winning teams will meet in a regional final at 2 p.m. Saturday at Hudson.
Buchtel aims for title
The Buchtel football team is seeking to conclude its regular season undefeated in the City Series when it plays at Kenmore on Saturday.
Buchtel (5-4, 5-0) kept its perfect record intact in the City Series with a 39-0 win over visiting North (2-7, 1-4) Saturday.
Junior Marquis Sams rushed for two touchdowns to help Buchtel top North.
Griffins seniors Marnell Turner, Eric Rucker and Tavaris Bushner also rushed for a touchdown, and Rucker tossed a touchdown pass to sophomore Jamie Rogers.
Kenmore is 2-7 overall and 1-4 in the league this year.
Michael Beaven can be reached at email@example.com.