WADSWORTH — The torch has officially been passed in Suburban League volleyball.
Wadsworth clinched at least a share of the 2010 conference championship on Wednesday night by sweeping three-time defending SL titlist Cloverleaf, 25-22, 25-16, 25-12. The state-ranked Grizzlies (17-2, 12-0) will win the league outright with one victory in their final two matches or with one loss by second place Copley, which is 9-2 in the SL.
“I’ve loved volleyball for a really long time, so to be part of a team that won the conference is incredible,” said Wadsworth outside hitter Elliot Georgiadis, who had seven kills, three assists, two blocks, 20 digs, a match-high 13 service points, and two aces.
“We didn’t celebrate too much tonight because we’ve still got more games to play, but believe me, we’re thrilled— not satisfied — but thrilled to know that we’re the SL champs.”
Remarkably, the conference crown is just the fourth ever for the Grizzlies, their second in the last 23 seasons, and their first since 2006. Their 479 all-time victories are the most in Medina County history.
Georgiadis was part of a senior onslaught that saw Wadsworth’s 12th-graders simply overpower the Colts (4-13, 3-9).
Outside hitter Julie Bassett (match-high 13 kills, 13 digs), setter Sarah White (9 kills, 29 assists, 3 aces), libero Elaine Zollinger (24 digs, 4 assists) and outside hitter Megan Crawford (career-best 5 kills) dominated the final two games, keeping the Grizzlies undefeated at home this fall.
“We have really great seniors who always come ready to play,” said Wadsworth junior Rachel Jones, who had seven kills and a match-high six blocks. “This was just a great team effort tonight, with them leading the way.”
Cloverleaf got three kills, 15 assists and nine digs from senior setter Sarah Schleich and 17 digs from senior libero Nicole Kolodka. Katie Simpson and Erin O’Callaghan shared teamhigh honors with six kills.
The Colts — one night removed from a gut-wrenching five-game loss to Copley — led the Grizzlies 22-19 in Game 1, but gave up six straight points and never recovered. Over the next two games, Cloverleaf totaled nine kills and 13 hitting errors.
“Apparently, the Copley match did affect us tonight,” Colts coach Courtney Maibach said. “In Game 1, it looked like we picked up right where we left off, but something was missing after Wadsworth came back to win.
“I thought Nicole Kolodka was our only girl who consistently played hard the entire match.”
Wadsworth can lock up sole possession of the SL crown Tuesday at home against Revere. It also will be the Grizzlies’ senior night, when the five aforementioned 12th-graders and injured middle hitter Robyn Rotterschmidt will be honored.
“This whole night was special because the girls got to celebrate winning a share of the league title at home,” Wadsworth coach Jill Quayle said. “But Tuesday could be even better because it’s the final time our seniors will ever play in this gym, and they can lock everything up against Revere.”
Two other county squads can join the Grizzlies as league champions over the next six days.
Brunswick can clinch the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division tonight by beating Normandy at home, while Buckeye would win the Patriot Athletic Conference with a victory Tuesday at Black River.
• While both student sections were virtually empty, 2009 All-Gazette hitter Megan McCarthy was in attendance. The Cloverleaf graduate is currently playing college volleyball at Walsh University.
• The Colts have added a Monday non-league match at Parma Normandy to their schedule. They still have room for one additional contest this season, as do Buckeye and Highland.
Contact Brian Dulik at email@example.com.