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Hudson cruises past Cuyahoga Falls volleyball team

by Frank Aceto Associate Sports Editor Published: October 2, 2016 12:00 AM

Hudson -- One team appears to be hitting its stride. The other looks like it's going backwards.

The final results certainly showed that Hudson might be peaking and Cuyahoga Falls is regressing on the volleyball court.

The host Lady Explorers improved to 6-8 overall and 4-6 in the Suburban League National Conference after posting a convincing 25-18, 25-18, 25-12 victory over the Lady Black Tigers at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.

Hudson took command in the middle of the first two sets and completely dominated the third set.

By the time Falls (6-11, 1-9) got its feet wet in the third set, the Lady Explorers had a 7-0 lead.

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The Lady Black Tigers made numerous errors throughout the match, which led to Hudson spurts throughout the evening.

"We can't seem to figure out how to make things cohesive," Falls head coach Josh Stewart said. "We rush and get ahead of ourselves. We try to make things happen too fast."

While the Lady Explorers don't have the record to show for it, they may have found their rhythm as the final stretch of the regular season lurks.

"We have really struggled when it comes to closing out sets," Hudson first-year head coach Brad Disandis said. "I thought we did a much better job [Sept. 29], especially in that third set."

Falls made things a bit interesting in the second set.

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At one point, the set was tied at 14, But the Lady Explorers won the next four points to stop the Lady Black Tigers' momentum.

In a matter of minutes, all the momentum Falls gained vanished into the night.

Hudson sophomore libero Kendall Mackay closed out the first set with five straight service points.

"It's kind of the same thing over and over," Stewart said. "We're having a hard time finding that fight or confidence or whatever it might be. We need to find a way to make plays when they're needed."

The Lady Explorers' top player certainly did.

Six-foot-2 middle hitter Alena Madar was unstoppable wherever she was throughout the match.

She finished with 15 service points, including three aces, 14 kills, and three blocks.

Junior outside hitter Dani Turner added 12 kills, five digs and one block and Chiarappa contributed 26 assists, six digs, three blocks and three kills for Hudson.

Also faring well for the Lady Explorers were Mackay (23 digs) and junior defensive specialists Nina Disandis (18 service points, including three aces, and nine digs) and Maddie Gaeta (17 digs).

Senior outside hitter Emma Freeman led the Lady Black Tigers with 10 kills and sophomore libero Morgan Frame finished with 23 digs.

Junior setter Rebecca Postlewaite had nine assists and two aces and junior outside hitter Emina Celic finished with three blocks.

Host Falls also lost to National Conference rival Wadsworth 25-17, 25-12, 25-23 Sept. 26.

Freeman led the way with nine kills and seven digs and Postlewaite had 16 assists. Frame contributed seven digs and sophomore McKenzie Flick chipped in two aces.

The Lady Black Tigers' struggles have been a headache for Stewart. Nonetheless, he certainly has enjoyed being around his players.

"I've never had any issues with anybody," Stewart said. "It has been fun. We're just trying to climb to that level of being above average. We're not quite at that stratosphere yet, talent-wise."

Falls is scheduled to visit National Conference foe Nordonia Oct. 4 before returning home for a date with conference archrival Stow-Munroe Falls Oct. 6. Both varsity matches are set to begin at 6:30 p.m.

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