June 25, 2016

Mostly sunny

Records tumble in Black River volleyball victory

ELYRIA — Senior outside hitter Megan Mey hammered a school postseason-record 26 kills Tuesday, leading Black River’s volleyball team to a 22-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-20 victory over Brooklyn at the Elyria Division III Sectional.

Mey also had 25 digs and three blocks for the Pirates, who clinched a winning season and won their tournament opener for the third year in a row. Their last such streak came from 1998-2000.

Sixth-seeded Black River (12-10) will face No. 5 Garfield Heights Trinity in a sectional final Thursday at 6 p.m. Trinity eliminated Columbia in four games in the first match of the evening at Elyria High.

“This win was a big step in the direction that we want to take our program,” said Pirates coach Courtney Dieter, who played on the aforementioned 1998 and 1999 squads.

“Playing against Trinity is going to be a great match, and we have a chance to do something we haven’t done since 1999 — qualify for districts — which is our goal.”

Junior Emily Cartwright set another school postseason record with 46 assists on 122-for-122 setting for Black River, while sophomore middle hitter Danielle Jenkins fired 13 kills.

“Danielle probably hit the ball better than she has in her whole life; practice or a match,” Dieter said. “She really came up big.”

Senior libero Kayla Twining also shined with 23 digs, junior middle hitter Paige Rook collected seven kills and four blocks, and senior defensive specialist Rebecca Roupe had 14 digs and nine points.

“Kayla and Megan played great in the back row tonight,” said Dieter, who moved into a tie for 17th place in Medina County history with 54 career wins. “They pulled up some balls tonight that I thought for sure would be points.”

The Pirates also defeated the Hurricanes in Patriot Athletic Conference play on Aug. 28, but that didn’t stop Brooklyn from jumping on them at the seed meeting.

Though the Hurricanes took the first game, their advantage proved short-lived and they were headed home for the winter after the 93-minute match.

“Game 1 wasn’t horrible for us — there were nine ties — but we were out there like it was just another practice, playing with no urgency,” Dieter said. “(Assistant coach) Sarah Wagner and I had to light the fire between games, and the girls picked it up.

“They were excited, celebrated big plays and played real tenacious volleyball, just like we’ve seen from them all season.”

Contact Brian Dulik at brisports@hotmail.com.