PREP VOLLEYBALL Brookfield upends Mineral Ridge
Jen Ford sparked the unseeded Warriors, who next face No. 3 seed Champion.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
LEAVITTSBURG -- Brookfield High's Jen Ford started the match with a flurry and nearly ended it with an avalanche.
Ford scored the first two points in the first game and scored 11 straight points in the second game as the unseeded Warriors defeated fourth-seeded Mineral Ridge 15-5, 15-5 Thursday night in Division III sectional volleyball match at LaBrae Middle School.
"That was probably our best match of the season," said Brookfield coach Dan Deramo. "Jen Ford served consistently and I think Juli Alter had the best match of her career."
Alter shines: Alter had 13 kills and four blocks as Brookfield (10-8) opened an 8-1 lead in the first game as Mineral Ridge struggled with its consistency. The Rams (13-7) had trouble serving and committed several unforced errors.
"They definitely helped us," said Deramo. "But they're a good team. They have much better height and those teams usually give us problems."
With Alter solidifying the middle, Regina Deramo (eight assists, eight digs) and Karey Gibson (seven assists, eight digs) controlled the Rams' power game and played solid defense.
"It wasn't easy," Alter said. "They put up a fight. I'm so proud of the team and we've come really far but we're not done. We're going for the championship on Monday."
Ford finished with 13 points, two aces and 11 digs.
Rams' coach Jennifer Staunton was unavailable after the match.
Flashes win: Third-seeded Champion shook off some early jitters to rebound from a first game loss, beating Garrettsville Garfield 12-15, 15-4, 15-5 in the early match. Garfield finished 11-8.
"Yeah, it was jitters, it was definitely jitters," said Champion coach Cindy Smith.
Senior Hillary Pegg had 19 kills, seven blocks and 14 digs to lead the Flashes (14-6). Junior Michelle Canatsey had nine points, 12 kills, three blocks and 10 digs, senior Rosie Holmes had 37 assists and senior Karen Meyer had nine points and four aces.
"There are some phenomenal teams [in this tournament]," Smith said. "Every team left has to be highly respected. What's helped us is that our three seniors have all played club volleyball for five years so they have a lot of experience."
The Flashes are 10-2 against Div. III opponents this year -- the best record in the tournament. Champion will face Brookfield at 7:15 p.m. Monday.
"I've told the girls all year that we've done everything in our power to prepare," Smith said. "We've practiced hard. What will happen, will happen."