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The Nordonia High School volleyball team wrapped up its regular season recently against a pair of Suburban League National Conference opponents in preparation for the upcoming postseason tournament.
The first of those two opponents was Twinsburg. The visiting Lady Knights and the Lady Tigers clashed Oct. 10, with Twinsburg prevailing by the score of 25-14, 25-27, 25-19, 25-17.
Sophomore outside hitter Megan Alders led the way for Nordonia, producing 19 kills and eight digs. In addition, junior setter Faith Banks contributed 35 assists, 10 digs, and four kills. Other major contributors for the Lady Knights included freshman outside hitter Maddie Knight (10 kills, six digs, one ace) and senior libero Alexis Perney (21 digs, two aces).
Nordonia head coach Andrea Ciavarelli was pleased with her team's effort, but an uneven performance contributed to the Lady Knights' demise.
"We played tough in this match, but ultimately just made too many errors," said Ciavarelli. "Twinsburg always seems to be a tough matchup for us."
Nordonia then hosted Wadsworth on Senior Night Oct. 13. The Lady Grizzlies downed the Lady Knights by the score of 25-12, 25-14, 25-8.
"We started out pretty strong against Wadsworth, hanging with them for much of the first set," said Ciavarelli. "They have an incredible hitter, who is very difficult to stop. She took over and our block and defense struggled."
As it was Senior Night, Nordonia recognized its two seniors during the match: Perney and defensive specialist Skylar Dean. "Both have contributed a lot to the volleyball program and will be missed greatly," said Ciavarelli.
Alders paced Nordonia against Wadsworth with 10 kills, five digs, and one ace, while Banks accounted for 16 assists and one ace and Perney added 16 digs.
Nordonia finished the regular season with an overall record of 4-18. The Lady Knights were also 3-11 in the National Conference of the Suburban League, placing seventh in the final conference standings.
"We did have a couple of big wins over Hudson and North Royalton, which was nice to see," said Ciavarelli. "I'm optimistic for the future of this program. These girls gained a lot of experience this year, and it will only help moving forward. There were definitely some hard times this season, but we remain resilient and learned from everything."
The Division I district tournament draw Oct. 9, at Solon High School. As a result of that draw, Nordonia is seeded seventh overall and wast set to battle Cleveland John F. Kennedy Oct. 18. Results of the playoff opener were not available at press time.
"The postseason always feels like a fresh start to me," said Ciavarelli. "I feel good about our match on Tuesday against Cleveland JFK."
The winner of that match will advance to play Brecksville at 3 p.m. Oct. 22. Brecksville is the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
"Should we see Brecksville again on Saturday, I feel like we can compete and give them a match," said Ciavarelli. "They will have had over a week off without playing a match, and the last time we saw them we did not have Megan Alders. If we play consistently, we will be able to make them work for a victory."