Unbeaten Hubbard outlasts Canfield in five
By DAN HINER
It took five sets to determine a winner between All-American Conference powers Canfield and Hubbard. And thanks to a 26-kill performance by junior Adria Powell, the Eagles pulled away with a 15-9 win in the final set Tuesday night.
Canfield (9-3, 0-1 AAC Red Tier) won the first set 25-14, but the Eagles took the second and third sets.
“I think we stayed real calm and our seniors showed a lot of leadership, keeping [the team] calm and knowing the first game isn’t the whole match,” Hubbard head coach Jeremy Porter said. “We battled back, kept fighting and got a lead there in the fifth game and kept it and got the victory.”
The Cardinals won the fourth set 25-17 and outscored the Eagles 16-8 to force a fifth. With the set tied at 9, Canfield’s Alexis Netille took over the game by recording a kill and three aces.
Netille finished with a team-high eight aces and 24 points.
Canfield’s Morgan Cleevy, Grace Mangapora and Natalie Maras all finished with a team-high nine points. Maras also had a game-high nine blocks.
The fifth set was tied at 3 but Powell accounted for three kills and an ace to stretch the lead to 7-4. A series of errors by Canfield and aggressive play by Hubbard (6-0, 5-0 AAC Red Tier) helped push the game out of reach.
“All day we were preparing. We were looking at their stats and knew that we had to work hard for this game because the past few years we have gotten killed by them,” Powell said. “But this year we were determined. We knew this game would determine who got first place in the league. We just came out there and played as hard as we could.”
Canfield head coach Maria Householder said her team committed too many mistakes and the team battled between playing too aggressively and passively throughout the match. She said if the Cardinals played the way they have all season, then the outcome could have been different.
“We shut down their big hitters but it was our mistakes. It was unforced errors, I think, that led to the loss,” Householder said. “A little bit of serve/receive, hitters weren’t putting the ball away when they needed to … it was definitely unforced errors.”
For Powell, the win over the Cardinals was exciting. She said a few members of the Canfield volleyball team were teammates on travel teams in the past, and the victory gives her bragging rights.
“I’ve played with some of those girls at club — you know, friendly rivalries,” Powell said. “I wanted to keep our winning streak [going], we’re 6-0.”
Porter said the Eagles’ schedule has helped Hubbard to this point in the season. He said playing tougher teams at the start of the season built confidence when the played the Cardinals.
“We play up in the Red Tier, we’re a smaller school. Us, Girard and Lakeview play up and we know every night in our league is like that,” Porter said. “Playing teams like Howland, Lakeview and Boardman, it’s like that all the time. And when you get in these situations over and over again, it’s easier to calm down and focus on what we need to do.”
Porter went on to say the win is one of the most important of the season. He said the Canfield programs should be respected because of talent and coaching.
“It’s a huge win for our program,” Porter said. “Maria is a great coach, great person and I have a ton of respect for her and her program. Any time you play a Canfield team, they’re ready to go because their coaching staff is exceptional. Their players put the time in like we do. It’s always a fun one to play in.”