MEDINA — There was no aircraft carrier for her to stand on, but the center court of the Medina High gymnasium worked just fine Tuesday night as Elyria volleyball player Brigette Jones proudly proclaimed, “Mission accomplished.”
The Pioneers, ranked 18th in the Division I state poll, took over sole possession of first place in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division with an easy 25-20, 25-17, 25-17 win over Medina (10-5, 3-1).
“We knew what we had to do and we went out and did it,” Jones said. “We were focused from the start. Our passing was sharp. We went to the open player and capitalized on our kill opportunities. Shelly Regiec was outstanding all night, hustling to get to the ball and set us up in the front.”
Jones led the Pioneers (8-3, 4-0) in kills (12) and blocks (3). As a team, Elyria finished with 39 kills, with 27 of the team’s 30 assists coming from Regiec. Kristen Boros also had a big night at the net for Elyria with 11 kills.
By contrast, the Bees (10-5, 3-1) could only complete 16-of-70 chances, with Ally Peters leading the team with nine kills and Amanada Colvin contributing 16 assists.
“That says it all,” Medina coach Jason Schellenberger said. “You can’t have a statistic like converting only 16 of 70 attempts and expect to be in a match. We can’t expect to play with good teams like Elyria if we can’t make the plays we should be making.”
Minus top hitter Emily Witsaman (foot injury), Medina started well, playing the Pioneers to a 10-10 tie after the first round of servers. However, the Bees couldn’t keep up the pace and never did go on a big scoring spurt.
“That was one thing we stressed, not allowing Medina to go on a run,” Elyria coach Jodie Johnson said. “It was very key tonight that we were able to go on runs and Medina wasn’t.”
In the second game, the Pioneers went on six- and five-point runs. The first took them from a 3-3 tie to 9-3, while the second increased a 10-9 lead to 15-9.
Medina kept answering in runs of two or three points, but every time the Bees would close to within a couple points, Elyria would go on another run.
“Every time we started to make some sort of a run and get back in the game, we would have a bunch of unforced errors,” Schellenberger said. “In those stretches, Elyria was piling up points. We had three or four unforced errors in a row. We just self-destructed in all areas.”
Medina had the third game tied at 14, but the Pioneers closed out the match with a 14-3 spurt.
“We were well-prepared tonight,” Johnson said. “We knew where Medina’s strengths were and played away from them, and we also knew where their weaknesses were and we exploited them.”
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