YORK TWP. — Shannon Galdun had high expectations coming into her senior season. Now four matches in, she has reason to aim even higher.
Molly Galaszewski had 18 kills and Galdun collected a career-high 10 kills and three blocks Thursday, leading Buckeye’s volleyball team to a 28-26, 25-20, 23-25, 25-16 victory over archrival Black River.
The win was the third in a row for the Bucks (3-1, 3-1), who sit alone in first place in the Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division.
“There have been a lot of changes on our team from last year, but I really thought we would be this good,” said Galdun, who only committed one hitting error in a strong performance.
“We’ve all played together for a long time and know each other so well, I imagined things would come together pretty quickly. It’s been fun for everyone.”
Freshman setter Kamiah Gibson racked up a season-best 44 assists and six kills, senior libero Katie Lyons made 21 digs, and senior outside hitter Katie Davis had a career-high nine kills for Buckeye.
Black River setter Erica Benson also had a big night, becoming the first player in Medina County history with 2,000 career assists. The four-year starter reached the mark early in the opener to move into the top 75 all-time in OHSAA play.
“I couldn’t have done it without my teammates putting the ball down,” Benson said. “They are the reason I was able to accomplish this milestone.
“It means a lot, but knowing this was the final match that I’ll play at Buckeye — and we came so close to beating them — is a little upsetting.”
Junior outside hitter Morgan Young paced the Pirates (4-4, 1-3) with 15 kills and made 22 digs. Benson rung up 31 assists, five kills, 22 digs and three aces, while senior libero Hannah White had 21 digs and four kills.
The first game featured a clutch duel between Galaszewski and Young, who exchanged six straight kills. Young gave Black River leads of 24-23, 25-24 and 26-25, only to have Galaszewski answer each time.
“Morgan is really tough and we focused on stopping Erica with her tips,” Galdun said. “It was a good battle between our teams.”
Buckeye maintained the momentum throughout the second before Benson took over in the third, putting the Pirates in front for good with back-to-back aces at 13-11 and firing the game-winning kill.
The Bucks scored the first five points in the decisive fourth and never looked back to earn their seventh straight win over Black River.
“Black River is a very good team, and this was a good win for us,” Buckeye coach Tom Schuler said. “Benson and White are outstanding players, and we told our girls to look out for Young at all times because she’s dangerous. They gave us a real test tonight.”
- The match was briefly stopped to recognize Benson when she distributed her 2,000th career assist.
- Buckeye won the junior varsity match via a sweep.