PREP VOLLEYBALL Hubbard's TAC streak now 123
The Eagles, who haven't lost a league match since 1993, beat Brookfield Monday.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
HUBBARD -- Chuck Montgomery got up from his seat, walked into the Hubbard huddle and put his right arm in the middle and said a few words of encouragement.
Then he counted, "One, two, three -- Team!"
Montgomery went back to the bench, gripped his clipboard and sat forward in his seat next to his assistant coaches.
None of this was new. None of this was surprising. He does it every match.
His Hubbard volleyball team then scored early and often. They beat a solid Trumbull Athletic Conference opponent, Brookfield. They did it easily, 15-7, 15-3.
None of this was new. None of this was surprising. They do it every match.
Streak continues: Last night was the Eagles' 123rd straight win over a TAC-8 team. They haven't lost since 1993.
"Everyone comes in here trying to break the streak," said Katy Jo Mroski, who was second-team all-state last year, said. "It makes us play harder. We like to be the team to beat."
Then Mroski said what everyone thinks, but is afraid to say.
"We won't lose as long as I'm here," she said.
The junior hitter had 21 kills, 11 digs and three blocks in just two games. Senior hitter Amy Falhammer added 12 points, 10 digs and four kills for Hubbard (5-0, 5-0 TAC).
"Tonight we played at the level we have to play at," Montgomery said. "Brookfield has a couple big wins and it was a big league match. It's a big rivalry for us since they're just 5 miles away."
The Warriors entered the match with a 5-3 record, including 4-0 in the TAC. They've got a good chance to go second in the league. They play well as a team. They just don't have an answer for Mroski.
No one does.
"She's the best player we'll see this year," Brookfield coach Dan Deramo said of Mroski. "We come in to win. Mentally, we play as tough as anybody. Our girls were really pumped up; they were charged up to play. We come to win."
Deramo shook his head.
"Somebody has to end the streak," he said.
Leads Warriors: Senior Julie Alter had three kills to lead the Warriors. Senior Jen Ford had six digs, junior Regina Deramo had five assists and senior Kayla Haun had three points in the loss.
"We played hard," coach Deramo said. "We play as hard as anybody. We looked forward to this match. We knew where we are coming in."
Brookfield hung in for the first game, drawing to 8-7. But the Eagles scored the final seven points of the first game, and the first seven points of the second game to end the Warriors' hopes.
Falhammer, who earned honorable mention all-state last year, served the final points of each game. Eagle senior Cortney Hoch had six kills and three digs. Nyelia Page added five kills for Hubbard.
Hubbard, who has won eight straight TAC championships, plays Champion and Girard before this weekend's Worthington Invitational in Columbus.
"Columbus is going to be a real big test," Montgomery said. "And we play Champion and Girard and they're [including Brookfield] probably going to finish 2,3,4."
There's no doubt who will finish first.
"We like being the hunted," Montgomery said. "It's better to be the hunted than the hunter."