Volleyball notes: Balance, experience helping Jackson Center


JACKSON CENTER — Regardless of outcomes, Jackson Center’s volleyball squad is accomplishing something each match that is one of Kim Metz’s biggest goals: persevering.

“We have been doing well at the idea of not letting go, not letting up,” Metz said. “Just a little bit of a mindset of making sure we’re paying attention to every ball. It might not be the prettiest play every time, but to make sure we’re protecting our 900 square feet is one of the main priorities.”

The Tigers beat Fairlawn 25-14, 26-24, 25-15 on Tuesday and entered a match Thursday evening at Houston with a 6-3 overall record and 4-1 Shelby County Athletic League record. They lost 3-0 to both New Bremen and Fort Loramie earlier this month before beating Lehman 3-0 last Saturday and defeating the Jets on Tuesday.

Junior outside hitter McKinley Reichert is in her third year as a starter and has made a team-high 104 kills this year. Senior Macy Klopfenstein is in her second year as a starter and has made 90 kills.

“Both of them have been great leaders,” Metz said. “We look to them, make sure they’re getting their hands on the ball.

“But what’s nice is we have other elements (on the front row). De Lichtenberg (a junior) is coming on and really stepping up on the right side to take the heat off the left side for them once in a while. Then we have Keona Suttles (a senior), who’s doing a very nice job in the middle along with Paige (Geuy, a senior).”

“I don’t think I’ve ever been a one person or a one player team. Everybody needs to make sure they know what to do, when to do it and how to do it.”

Junior Maryn Ludwig leads the team with 121 assists, but junior Avery Jackson and senior Riley Barhorst also see time setting.

“We’ve got three kids who can put their hands on the ball,” Metz said.

Senior libero Grace Prenger has made a team-high 87 digs. Reichert has made 73 and Klopfenstein has made 69.

Fairlawn’s Henman sets blocks record, Swearingen reaches 1,000 digs

Fairlawn senior Ellie Henman recently set a program record for career blocks and senior Addison Swearingen recently reached 1,000 career digs.

They’re two of three upperclassmen leading the Jets (7-5, 2-4), who have a mix of veterans and newcomers.

Henman and Swearingen are both four-year varsity players. Henman, a middle hitter, has 151 total career blocks. Swearingen has 1,042 career digs and 748 career kills.

Swearingen has made 161 kills this season and ranks second among SCAL players. Henman has made 109 kills and 43 blocks.

Senior defensive specialist Julia Huelskamp is a two-year starter; she has made 182 digs this season.

“They are the key. They are the glue,” Fairlawn coach Ashley Miller said. “Those three, we’re trying to build around them.”

The Jets won their first four matches but have lost five to SCAL opponents since, including twice to Anna. Fairlawn lost 3-2 in a league match on Aug. 31, then lost 2-1 to the Rockets in the championship match of Lehman Catholic’s Labor Day invitational two days later.

“We’re young and old, and trying to get that put together,” Miller said. “Hopefully this second round of County, we’ll get it put together.”

Junior outside hitter Haley Cox is expected to return soon; she has yet to play this season due to a knee injury. She had 120 kills a year ago.

“We’re hoping she’ll make a big difference,” Miller said.

Fairlawn is scheduled to travel to Ansonia on Saturday.

Sidney’s Davidson, Rush among top kills leaders in MVL

Sidney junior outside hitter Cynthia Davidson and senior outside hitter Kyla Rush both ranked in the top five among Miami Valley League players in kills entering Thursday’s action, and Davidson ranked in the top five in aces.

Davidson, an Anna transfer, was tied for third with 110 kills while Rush ranked fifth with 104. Davidson ranked fifth with 24 aces. Sophomore setter Alena Swearingen, who is a younger sister to Fairlawn’s Addison Swearingen, ranked second among league players with 246 assists.

Sidney (6-4, 5-2 MVL Valley Division) was scheduled to host Greenville (8-4, 6-2 MVL Miami) on Thursday. The Yellow Jackets won their first five league matches before losing 3-1 at Vandalia-Butler on Thursday and 3-0 to Tippecanoe on Tuesday; both the Aviators and Red Devils are undefeated.

Anna’s Cobb reaches 1,000 career digs

Anna senior setter Brenna Cobb reached 1,000 career digs in a 3-0 loss at Marion Local on Tuesday.

Cobb, a four-year starter, had 114 digs to her credit this season entering a match against Botkins on Thursday. She also had 261 assists; she has nearly 1,450 career assists.

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