HUDSON: The Hudson volleyball team put together a near flawless performance Wednesday night in its Division I regional semifinal match.
Hudson extended possessions with its quickness and ended possessions with its power. Wadsworth tried valiantly, but couldn’t keep up with host Hudson in three sets.
The Explorers won by scores of 25-17, 25-14 and 25-11 to advance to Saturday’s regional final at 2 p.m. against Jackson. The Polar Bears beat Mayfield in three sets.
Hudson coach Jessica Ciborek returned to the sideline after giving birth to her son, Evan Benjamin Ciborek, on Oct. 23. Evan, who weighed 8 pounds and 11 ounces at birth and was 21 inches in length, was at home Wednesday with his father, Ben Ciborek.
“Our defense was a lot better than I have seen,” Ciborek said. “[Assistant] Annie Pinegar has done a great job with the girls in practice and it really showed. We had a tough scrimmage on Monday night and that helped us a ton. Annie did a great job with the girls [Tuesday] in practice. I think the girls are ready to go. This has been one of our goals all season long.”
Senior Krissy Mummey (12 kills, four blocks) and junior Jordan Mackay (10 kills, four blocks) led Hudson at the net. Sophomore Amanda Przybocki (34 assists), junior Gina Holland (20 service points) and senior Celia Cristofoli (13 digs) were also key players.
“We had the perfect set up as coming in as the underdog,” Cristofoli said. “[Wadsworth] won the first time, and they had something to prove to beat us twice. No one beats us twice. We don’t let that happen. We lose once, we come back and we win. We came in ready to play. We have been preparing hard for this the entire season and we performed.”
Juniors Allison Rense and Sarah Young also gave Hudson (20-6) a boost with sophomores Maddie Przybocki and Olivia Baumhoer and freshman Alena Madar.
“Whenever we get a free ball over the net, we need to make sure we pass the ball, transition off quickly and put the ball down,” Ciborek said. “We want to run our offense. Even in those scramble plays, we want to take control and transition and play. They did that tonight. That has been a constant theme all season long.”
Wadsworth (22-4) tried to rally courtesy of sophomore Jodi Johnson (11 kills), seniors Erin Zita (17 digs), Peyton Booth (six kills) and Ciera Koons (six kills).
“It seemed like every time we started to get momentum, we just couldn’t come back and actually capitalize on their errors,” Wadsworth coach Jill Klingbeil said. “We were making more errors. We had a ton of unforced errors.”
Jackson (24-3) beat Mayfield (11-16) by scores of 25-18, 25-16 and 25-18, but coach Jeff Walck wasn’t totally pleased with his team’s play.
“We had a very poor showing and performance,” Walck said. “But on my way out, not only did my coaches remind me, but there were other people I know in the gym that said, ‘Hey, you know what, remember it is OK, if you can play not to what your expectations are and win in three. You should be grateful.’ It really humbled me and pulled everything away from me. I went in there and I congratulated the girls. I told them, ‘It wasn’t our best and we have to play better on Saturday or we will have a sad bus ride home.’?”
Sophomore Brooke Bailey (12 kills), junior Stephanie Spencer (11 kills and 10 digs) and sophomore Kelly Klimo (32 assists) led Jackson. Senior Jen Slogar added four blocks, and senior Rachel Seifert and junior Olivia Zanolli combined to have 35 service points.
“I think playing Jackson before, we definitely know where their go-to’s are,” Young said. “We know how to defend them better and put up bigger blocks. Playing Wadsworth today, we played more as a team. We were mentally stronger than the first matchup.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at https://ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.