MEDINA — The feel-good story of the young volleyball season is being written by the Medina Bees.
Outside hitters Jess Sency and Ksenia Klue each had nine kills, while libero Erika Grumbach fired five aces as Medina defeated Buckeye 26-24, 25-18, 25-20 Monday in a non-league match.
The victory came two days after the Bees (3-1) knocked off Wadsworth to claim a share of the title at the Walsh Jesuit Quad — and allowed them to match their win total for the entire 2012 regular season.
“We want to be known as the comeback kids,” said Sency, a junior outside hitter. “No one was expecting anything from Medina coming into this season, but we’re determined to prove them wrong. It’s been a lot of fun so far.”
It’s also been a lot of fun for Medina’s fans, who watched their team rally from one game down to beat the Grizzlies in three, then overcome two large deficits in defeating the Bucks (0-2).
The Bees trailed 18-12 in the first game and 13-6 in the second before rallying in their initial home match of the fall.
Senior middle hitter Leah Svoboda, junior outside hitter Jackie Coyne, senior middle hitter Carmen DeRose and Klue provided momentum-building kills in the opener, which saw Medina fight off game point at 24-23.
“People shouldn’t underestimate us anymore,” said Svoboda, who collected seven kills and a match-high-tying four blocks. “We’ve got great chemistry and we’re going to do whatever it takes to get the job done this year.”
The second game saw Buckeye sophomore setter Katie Galaszewski score five straight points with her jump-serve to give the Bucks their biggest lead at seven.
Senior Grumbach answered with an eight-point run off her jump-serve to put the Bees ahead for good and Sency completed the 19-5 game-ending run with her fourth kill in Game 2.
“I got real intense when I was serving because everyone was getting behind me, cheering for our team,” Grumbach said. “Our goal was to make an impact right away. It’s still early, but we’re having a great time.”
Junior setter Ashley Pavlescak dished out a match-high 19 assists for Medina, while DeRose had five kills and two assists and Grumbach recorded nine digs.
Sophomore setter Katie Galaszewski paced the Bucks with 11 assists, 13 digs and four aces. Junior outside hitter Amy Esker had six kills, senior defensive specialist Maddie Gregor made nine digs and junior setter Maggie Calame chipped in five assists.
“I would rather lose to a quality team like Medina than beat someone 25-5 because this match will make us better down the road,” Buckeye coach Brittany Morris said. “Our setters did well setting our hitters up and I thought our serve reception was awesome at the start.
“Medina has got some big hitters, but I also thought our middles put up a very good block on them.”
Bucks middle hitters Carrie Kis and Becky D’Amico, both sophomores, each had four rejections to tie Svoboda for top honors. Equally impressive, they had logged one total varsity match at the position entering the evening.
“I’m not going to lie,” Bees coach Connie Daum said. “This was a battle tonight. Buckeye is a very good team and they played extremely scrappy. I would not want to play them down the road because they’ve got a lot of young talent.”
Medina’s junior varsity was a 25-19, 25-22 winner. Haley Theus and Gina Messina combined for 14 service points for the Bucks, while Maddie Murphy made 13 digs. The match featured two former Medina County players as coaches in Medina’s Jessica Toocheck and Buckeye’s Erin Conroy, who played at Brunswick.
Contact Brian Dulik at email@example.com.