Ohiohsvb.com News About Ohio High School Volleyball
Mansfield Madison on the way to fourth straight Ohio Cardinal Conference crown
September 16, 2011
By Jim Jicha
Top ranked Mansfield Madison took a big step towards their fourth straight Ohio Cardinal Conference title with last week’s (September 6) 25-19, 25-15, 25-13 victory over Orrville. The host Rams trailed only once the entire evening.
“We’re a little ahead of last year” Madison Coach Jen Lauber said afterward. “The volleyball IQ has increased with experience” she added, explaining that five seniors on the team will have eighteen varsity letters between them when the season ends.
Outside hitters Emilee Muzechuk and Shawnee State bound Ashley Galbraith, mainstays on last season’s final four squad, were especially hard to stop with their ability to spike effectively from all directions. “They’ve played right side, middle and now left side (over the course of their careers)…that gives us versatility…we can shift if we’re struggling” said Lauber.
In 2008, the then-freshman Muzechuk had a key role in the teams’ first match up of that season which the Rams won in five (despite scoring only 19 total points in the two games they lost). That win was pivotal in the OCC title race, as Madison ended one match ahead of Orrville.
Galbraith and Muzechuk, along with 5’10” opposite Alderson Broaddus recruit Kaitlyn Eilenfeld, were all the more effective in last week’s match thanks to Kenzie Lauber, a veteran setter who shared duties the past two years and now runs the offense solo.
Dakia Sellers, a 5’5” middle hitter who did not play last year, created big defensive problems for Orrville. With her 33-inch vertical, she “gets up, looks around, and puts it where she wants to” according to Coach Lauber.
The biggest difficulty Orrville faced, however, was the absence of 5’9” junior setter/outside hitter Hannah Plybon, a second team All-District selection from last season who was out with a sore ankle.
Madison scored first on a kill by Sellers. Following a tying cross-court slam by 5’10” junior middle blocker/outside hitter Rylee Scott, the Rams bolted ahead 5-1 on kills by Galbraith and Sellers. Senior middle/outside Danae Stauffer ended the run with a kill, but Sellers answered and the Rams surged to 9-2 as Eilenfeld drilled a backset from Lauber, freshman libero Chase Carper dished up an ace and junior middle Lauren Helbig blocked a tip. After a well-placed tip by Orrville senior outside Maggie Johnson, Galbraith nailed a crosscourt spike and served up an ace to make it 11-3.
Orrville rallied for three on kills from Stauffer and Scott, but Madison re-upped their margin to 16-7 as Eilenfeld served an ace, and Muzechuk and Galbraith added kills.
Stauffer and Scott restarted the Red Riders, who closed to 16-11 on an ace from junior setter Maggie Davault and a long hit by Madison. Muzechuk interrupted the run with a kill, but Stauffer answered with another blast from back row. Rotating to the front, she ended the ensuing volley with a tip and, after Scott passed a smash by Madison, terminated the next one.
Orrville’s rally was, however, undone by hitting errors and the Rams advanced to 23-16. Scott scored three of the next four points for Orrville before Muzechuk ended the game with a spike off the block on the left.
Madison jumped out quickly in the second frame when Orrville’s first hit was stopped by the net and Helbig dished up three aces. The Red Riders closed to 5-3 on scoring by Stauffer and Scott, but Galbraith terminated down the left, sparking a 7-2 Ram spurt to 12-5. Lauber added an ace.
At this point, Scott scored with a blast from back row, and Stauffer and Johnson deflected Madison spikes as the Red Riders ran off four straight. A fifth Orrville point was averted by Lauber, who deftly converted a bad receive of Red Rider Abby Reusser’s line drive serve into a perfectly placed dump. Galbraith followed with an ace to make it 14-9.
Those points loomed critical when Stauffer crunched a Davault quick set and Scott added two more kills leaving the score 14-12. Madison blocked any further advance, literally, as Helbig stuffed two Orrville spikes with help from Eilenfeld and Lauber, and Muzechuk kayoed another.
Digs by Carper and Orrville libero Madison Smith led to a long and intense volley that finally ended with a hitting error by Orrville. After a timeout and another Red Rider miscue, the Rams were up 19-12. Orrville got back to 20-15 on three points from Scott before Muzechuk, Sellers and Lauber led a run to the finish.
Muzechuk led off game three with a spike to right middle. Stauffer answered and Scott gave the Red Riders the lead with a short serve ace. That proved short lived, as Sellers spiked a kill and two Red Rider hits touched the ceiling, Madison going ahead 6-3. The Rams advanced to 9-4 on a dump by Lauber and a kill by Muzechuk, and after point trading to 10-6, Muzechuk hammered a Lauber quick set and served up two aces to make it 17-7.
Senior outside Kylie Sullivan sparked a four point Orrville run to which Johnson contributed two kills. But Sellers got the Rams back on track with a slam down the right. Galbraith followed with a tip and, after a net serve, Madison rolled home.
Madison: Kills: Sellers 12, Muzechuk 9; Blocks: Helbig and Eilenfeld 2; Assists: Lauber 23; Aces: Helbig 3, Muzechuk and Galbraith 2; Serving Points: Galbraith and Carper 12; Digs: Carper
Orrville: Scott and Stauffer 12; Blocks: Scott 2; Assists: Davault 22; Serving: Davault 5 points, 1 ace; Smith 6 points; Digs: Smith 7