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The Nordonia High School volleyball team has been busy during the past two weeks, playing a total of six matches. Unfortunately, the Lady Knights didn't get many breaks in those matches, going 1-5 in those contests.
On Aug. 30, Nordonia played its first Suburban League National Conference opponent, hosting Hudson. The Knights pulled out a five-set victory, winning 18-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-20, 15-11.
Sophomore outside hitter Megan Alders led Nordonia with 24 kills and 14 digs, while freshman outside hitter Maddie Knight produced six kills and freshman middle hitter Dominique Evans added five kills. In addition, senior libero Alexis Perney had 27 digs and was 32-of-34 on serve receive and junior setter Faith Banks racked up 39 assists.
"[Megan] has been a dominating force since her return, and her intensity on the court is beyond that of a sophomore," said Nordonia head coach Andrea Ciavarelli of Alders.
On Sept. 1, Nordonia traveled to conference counterpart Stow-Munroe Falls. Again, the Knights went to five sets, but lost this time 25-14, 23-25, 25-10, 21-25, 15-13.
Perney paced the Knights' defense with 27 digs, and Banks accounted for 20 digs. Alders led the way offensively once again with 20 kills and two aces, while Knight posted 10 kills and junior middle blocker Megan Pietro and sophomore setter Emily Chrustic each contributed four kills.
On Sept. 6, Nordonia hosted conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights, a state-ranked squad.
The Lady Knights, who were without Perney due to injury, suffered a 25-8, 25-14, 25-8 defeat.
Leading the charge for Nordonia were Alders with nine kills and nine digs and Banks with four digs and 17 assists.
On Sept. 8, Nordonia traveled to conference foe Cuyahoga Falls. With Perney back in the lineup, the Lady Knights pushed the Lady Black Tigers to four sets. However, Falls topped Nordonia by the score of 25-20, 25-17, 17-25, 25-20.
Alders once again led the way for the Lady Knights, compiling 12 kills and 10 digs. Banks added 36 assists, nine digs, and one ace. Perney, meanwhile, produced 25 digs and one ace and was also 22-of-23 in serve receive.
On Saturday, Sept. 10, Nordonia competed in a tri-match against St. Thomas Aquinas and Archbishop Hoban. The Lady Knights pushed both opponents to three sets, but fell to defeat both times.
"My four defensive specialists-- Alexis Perney, [junior] Carly Adams, [junior] Sandra Spellman, and [senior] Skylar Dean -- did a some really great things all day," said Ciavarelli. "They showed a lot of hustle and keep the ball alive for us."
In both matches, Alders racked up 22 kills, five digs, and two aces. In addition, Banks contributed 45 assists, 16 digs, five aces, and three kills. Other major contributors for the Lady Knights were Perney (21 digs, one ace) and Knight (13 kills).
With that series of matches, Nordonia now owns an overall record of 1-8. The Lady Knights are also 0-4 in the National
Conference of the Suburban League.
Nordonia has two home matches scheduled for this week. The Lady Knights were set to host North Royalton Sept. 13, but results were not available at press time.
The Knights host Twinsburg Sept. 15 at 7 p.m.
On Sept. 17, Nordonia will participate in the Independence Renee Roche Tournament.
"What I like about this team is their ability to keep playing regardless of the score or if we're behind in sets," said Ciavarelli. "They're starting to compete."