Beat Goes on for Kenston Volleyball
Kenston will take on top-ranked 25-0 Toledo St. Ursula Academy in the Regional Semifinals
A sign hanging in the gym at Kenston High School reads Leave No Doubt.
This motto spoke volumes on how the Bombers played last week against the host Solon Comets in the Div. I district finals.
The Bombers, behind steady play from seven seniors, defeated the Comets in a five-set thriller.
The Bombers advance to the Div. I Regional Semifinal at Brecksville-Broadview Hts. High School. They will face the state's top-ranked team in Toledo St. Ursula Academy from Toledo, which is 25-0 on the season. The Arrows defeated the Bombers on August 24, 3-0.
George Washington-bound senior Emily Newell said, "We have been sticking to this quote in our gym, Leave No Doubt, so in the back of our minds that was the quote going through, Leave No Doubt, no regrets on the court. For the majority of that game (fifth set) we had six seniors on the floor, we had the audacity to push through and win."
Kenston started the match off by jumping out to a 11-4 lead in the first set, forcing Solon to use its second timeout of the set. They would go on to win the first set comfortably, 25-16. The second set was competitive; the Bombers held a slight 14-13 lead before the Comets would win 12 of the next 17 points to take the set. Kenston would win the third set, 25-19, and the Comets found themselves down a set going into a make-or-break fourth set.
The battle that ensued over the next two sets made this district final the classic it became. The fourth set started off with the Bombers racing out to a 10-4 lead. Solon then went on a 10-0 run to take a 14-10 lead, and the Comets never gave back the lead and won the fourth set, 25-23, to force a fifth set.
The Bombers jumped out to a quick 6-3 lead in the fifth set and never looked back, winning the fifth set by a score of 15-12.
Senior Jamie Kosiorek said, "The fifth set is a straight sprint, and you leave everything on the floor. It really is whoever plays harder and wants it more usually comes out on top."
When asked how the fifth set went, Kenston head coach Stephen Scherlacher said, "This particular group is different then any group I have ever worked with because I do just let them go. They are a group when they decide they're going to do something, they're usually right. The kids did it on their own; they said we're going to do it, and they got it done."
Kosiorek, an Ohio University signee, finished the night with a well-rounded 14 kills and 16 digs. Fellow senior Lori Zagar led the way with 48 assist and five blocks, and Indiana State-bound Stephanie Bindernagel finished with a game-high 41 digs.
The Bombers repeated as District Champions, winning their third in four years; they have advanced to the district final in each of the last five seasons, and have defeated Solon in the district final the last two seasons. Since 2009, the Bombers have amassed a 16-4 record in the postseason alone.
The Bombers improve to 19-6 on the season. This season has added to the dominance of the Bomber program in the last five years; Kenston has now won nearly 80 percent of its matches (97-27) and extended its CVC winning streak to 109 matches.
When it comes to being prepared for postseason play, the Bombers come battle tested because of the aggressive schedule they play during the regular season. They lost six games to five teams this season, and all five teams finished the season ranked in the top 15 of the state, according to the final OHSVCA poll. This included losses to the number one teams in Div. I (St. Ursula) and Div. II (Padua).
Scherlacher said, "It always helps playing a tough schedule. We're tested, we had some hiccups and had some challenges to go through. I think it made us mentally tougher, and we're able to stay calm under pressure, and we continue to work on being a team under pressure."
The Bombers haven't missed a beat this season under first year head coach Stephen Scherlacher. He replaced Dan Coughlin, who had been head coach the previous years, in August after Coughlin resigned his position.
When asked about the impact of Scherlacher, Newell said, "We are privileged to have him as a coach. He puts every single second of the day into volleyball. It's day and night he's going through plays and watching film trying to make us better."
Said Scherlacher, "It is a privilege to work with this group of kids, because you don't walk into the gym and have the talent necessary to win a state championship. It is a privilege to have that opportunity, and you have to take advantage of it every time you have it."