• Dr. Herpy

Bombers sharp in four-set win over Rebels

Published in The News-Herald
September 7, 2018
Nate Barnes

Kenston continued its strong start to the 2018 season with a four-set win at South on Sept. 6. The Bombers have won six of their first seven matches and are 3-0 in Western Reserve Conference play

Kenston remained in control through most of the match. The Bombers were strong on the block, received excellent service from Abby Bednar and passed well to set up their array of dangerous hitters in Bednar, Rachel Apshago, Isabelle Gabram, Allison Kosinski and Gillian Oakes.

What encouraged Coach Tara Everts most about Kenston’s victory was the way her team responded to the one set it lost.

After taking a 2-0 lead, Everts sensed the Bombers became complacent in a third set won by South and liked how her players rebounded to win the match.

“They have to have some sort of intrinsic motivation,” Everts said. “I think the team I have does have that, so watching them come back when they were down feels really good.”

Apshago and Bednar recorded eight kills apiece for Kenston. Apshago added two blocks and Bednar finished with three blocks and nine aces for the Bombers.

South and Kenston were tied, 8-8, early in the first set. Bednar’s kill off a Rebel defender put the Bombers up, 17-15, before Gabram finished off a 25-23 victory.

The teams were tied, 15-15, midway through the second set after Sarah Miozzi’s one-armed dig turned into a South point. Bednar’s strong service run helped Kenston gain control and take the set, 25-19, after a block by Oakes and Kosinski.

South jumped out to a 11-8 lead in the third set after Jessie Ceboll’s ace. Margo Huff’s spike down the middle of the Kenston defense stretched the Rebels’ lead to 18-11 and Ceboll later closed out a 25-15 South win.

Katie Mendenhall’s kill put South up, 10-4, early in the fourth set. Bednar’s seven-point service run erased the Rebels’ lead and put Kenston back in control. She took the service line again with the set tied at 20 and delivered two aces before Kosinski put down match point in a 25-20 set win.

Bednar said the Rebels changed their blocking against the Kenston hitters.

“We had to learn to adjust that, and we adjusted too late,” Bednar said. “When we were talking in the huddle, we learned to adjust to their block and how to swing off the block and use the block as a tool to help us win the fourth game.”

Huff led South with 12 kills and added three blocks. Sarah Miozzi recorded 36 assists and Mya Matriano finished with 21 digs. The Rebels fell to 5-4 and are 1-2 in WRC play.

South coach Bill Behrend lamented his team’s passing as the Rebels fell behind in the first two games. When South more consistently stayed in system to set Huff and the Rebels’ hitters up closer to the net in the third set, the team played its best.

“I haven’t checked the grading on our passing yet, but our passing was nowhere near where it needed to be,” Behrend said. “If we were able to get a pass to the 10-foot line, we were able to get something productive out of it. The problem was, we were struggling just to get it to the 10-foot line.”

Interview with Rachel Apshago and Abby Bednar