MEDINA — Alyssa Hudak has earned many individual accolades as a four-year starter for Medina’s volleyball team, but she had never beaten Brunswick.
That changed Thursday night.
Hudak hammered 19 kills and fellow senior Rachel Hawk had a career-high 14 as the Bees posted a 25-19, 25-19, 15-25, 25-19 victory over the Blue Devils in Greater Cleveland Conference action.
It was Medina’s first triumph over its archrival since Sept. 26, 2013 and snapped Brunswick’s eight-match winning streak in the series.
“I am so unbelievably proud of this team,” outside hitter Hudak said. “It’s an unbelievable feeling, but it’s not unbelievable what happened. We all worked so hard for this moment. We all dreamed about it. It’s great to become a reality.”
The Bees (6-1, 2-0) played superbly against the three-time defending district champion Blue Devils (1-2, 0-2) in equaling the best start to a season in school history.
Junior setter Ashley Dwyer collected 42 assists in the finest performance of her three-year career, while junior middle hitter Stephanie Flamik had three of her nine kills in the decisive fourth game. Senior libero Anna Coughlin also was stellar, which has become her norm.
“That is the best libero-setter-hitter combination that I’ve ever seen at Medina,” said Brunswick coach Mande Luttner, who is in her 13th season and ranks second all-time in Medina County in wins.
Bees coach Joe Ortenzi used 14 players, rewarding all of his charges with court time en route to the program’s most important victory since 2011.
Senior Callaghan Lewis had three aces in the first game as Medina jumped to a 17-9 lead, while junior Hailie Hotchkiss scored eight points on 10 serves in the fourth. Sophomore middle hitter Taylor Wise and junior outside hitter Chloe Butts also delivered momentum-swinging kills in the finale.
“Everyone truly played a part in this win,” outside hitter Hawk said. “We’ve worked our butts off getting ready for this season and in practice, and it’s all been worth it. This feeling tonight is more than I even dreamed of. I’m so happy for Medina volleyball.”
The Blue Devils were led by junior libero Rachael Crucis, who had a career-high eight aces, and junior outside hitter Kirsten Badowski, who fired a match-best 20 kills. Junior outside hitter Anna Krizsa added 13 kills.
Brunswick also received four kills and three blocks from junior outside hitter Cassie Burson and four kills and a match-high four blocks from sophomore middle hitter Ashli Holden. Starting middle hitter Maddy Neitzel is sidelined 2-4 weeks with a sprained right ankle.
“I hated to see Maddy on the bench because she’s such a big part of their offense,” Ortenzi said. “Hopefully, she’ll be able to come back and have a great senior year.”
The Blue Devils lost their second match in a row, having made 39 errors in a four-gamer at Solon on Tuesday. The theme was the same against Medina as they committed 32 miscues.
“We’re giving up way too many points on errors right now,” Luttner said. “It’s kind of the curse of having a lot of juniors. They just go up and down and up and down and up and down, sometimes in the same match.”
- In its previous eight matches against Brunswick, Medina won exactly one game.
- Brunswick won the junior varsity match in three games and the freshman contest in two.