By BOB ETTINGER
The Hubbard volleyball team never seems to lose its composure. That was evident in a 25-18, 25-19, 25-20 victory at Boardman on Tuesday night.
With the victory, the Eagles pushed their unbeaten mark to 16-0 (10-0 in All-American Conference Red Tier).
“I love my team,” Hubbard coach Jeremy Porter said. “I’m so proud of them. They all want it. They’re great kids. They’re leaders. It’s easy to coach when you have kids lids like that. The Xs and Os go out the window when it’s time to play.
“This has been one of our goals for a long time. I could win a million games, but I love to see [this team] have success.”
The Spartans (13-3, 6-3) never quite got rolling in the loss.
“Overall, we just didn’t play well,” Boardman coach Danielle Siembida said. “We haven’t played well the last few matches. We started the season well, but now, I think we’re on cruise control. We’re just not playing with the same intensity we started the season with.”
Two kills from Adria Powell, another from Gracie Bencetic and a slew of miscues from Boardman had the Eagles up, 20-14, in the first game.
In the second game, communication problems struck for Boardman while Hubbard remained steady.
“This is the second year we’ve played together,” Powell said. “We know when they get a big kill, we have to come right back. We know we have the ability to get the big kill, too.”
Consecutive aces from Silvia Genoni and two kills from Powell had Hubbard in front, 20-12, in the game.
“This team was built, it wasn’t given,” Hubbard setter Kristin Fahndrich said. “We’ve spent a lot of time in the summer and in camps. We’ve had a lot of time growing together. Playing games makes it a lot easier to grow together as a team. The offense was working well together, but it was the defense that held it together tonight.”
A block and a kill from Powell on consecutive serves, a setting miscue from Boardman and another kill from Powell had the Eagles up, 16-10, in the third game.
Powell, who was named American Volleyball Coaches Association and MaxPreps Player of the Week for Ohio, had 19 kills and three blocks in the match. She finished last week with 99 kills (7.071 per game), 48 digs, 10 blocks and five aces.
“Adria Powell is a great player,” Porter said. “People should see her play before she leaves the area. She’s something else. She’s one of the top five players I’ve ever seen in the area. She’s a 4.0 student. She works harder than anyone I’ve ever coached.”
Maria Torres had a kill and an ace and Kaylin Burkey added a pair of kills for the Spartans, but they remained behind, 19-15, and couldn’t quite get over the hump.
“It was definitely difficult to get the momentum tonight,” Siembida said. “We’re typically a strong serving team. Tonight, we weren’t serving well and we weren’t serving aggressively. [Hubbard’s] serving was on point. We couldn’t pass tonight. Every game, every point, every match comes down to serving and passing and we couldn’t serve or pass.
“They beat us in serving and passing. So, they served better than we could pass and they passed better than we could serve. It’s hard to score points when they’re able to get their big gun the ball whenever they want to.”
Fahndrich had 19 assists for the Eagles.
Burkey had 12 kills to pace the Spartans and Torres had five kills and three blocks. Raegan Burkey had 21 assists.