The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

September 12, 2013

Heralds going old school

St. John stays unbeaten with W

The current incarnation of the St. John volleyball team is beginning to look a little bit like the Heralds of the past. And that’s a good thing.

St. John remained unbeaten with a 25-22, 25-8, 25-20 victory over visiting Fairport on Wednesday, emulating the way coach Stephanie Kubec’s teams have opened seasons throughout her tenure.

“Nicole (Pawlowski) is on the staff,” Kubec said. “She brings a lot. She’ll say, ‘Hey, this is how we used to do it and this is how you need to do it.’

“We are bringing old school back. Tonight was closer than I thought it would’ve been, but Fairport is quite good. The girls are making adjustments and playing good volleyball. They’re making plays. That’s something we haven’t done well (in recent seasons).

“It’s just like years ago, us being unbeatable.”

The Heralds (7-0, 3-0 in Lake Effect Conference) aren’t just unbeaten, they’re unscratched.

“We haven’t even lost a set yet,” Kubec said.

There is one component keeping this most recent St. John team from being considered among the company of those great teams of the past.

“I wish we had that swagger,” Kubec said. “We talked about that. I told them I don’t care if they’re 18-0 or 0-18. Every school wants to beat them. It doesn’t matter who the school is or how big it is, (my girls) have to come out with confidence. That’s something we don’t have and it’s something we’re trying to build into them.”

Reilly DeGeorge leads a front line also consisting of Mackenzie Stenroos and Alivia Cimorelli that can be dangerous to most teams the Heralds face. Kubec uses them as judiciously as possible.

“We run kind of a triangle,” Kubec said. “Our three main hitters always have one rotation when they’re up (at the net) by themselves and two rotations where they’re up there with one of the other two.”

DeGeorge was 32 of 42 spiking with 17 kills against the Skippers while Cimorelli was 23 of 23 with eight kills and Stenroos was 17 of 19 with six kills. Alicia Ngiraingas and Reilly DeCato each added two kills.

“I think those three (DeGeorge, Cimorelli and Stenroos) having played together for so long, they do understand each other. That’s the key of it.”

The way DeGeorge plays brings comparisons of the past and Stenroos is beginning to bring on some of those comparisons, too.

“I love that Reilly will go for any ball, it doesn’t matter if it’s a good set or a bad set,” Kubec said. “I tell her to make adjustments and she says she will. Then she goes out, gets a bad set and still swings like a maniac. I love it!

“That’s just like Kaitlyn Tinney. She swings at everything. That’s going old school. Tonight, it was the same thing for Mackenzie.”

Feeding those maniacal swings is setter Caroline Kovacs, who is new to the position this season.

“She’s the new quarterback of the team,” Kubec said. “She’s fresh to the position. She knows what we have to have offensively and defensively. She’s done a nice job mixing it up.

“Today, she was phenomenal. I think this was the turning point for her.”

Kovacs was 75 of 77 setting.

What makes the strong setting and spiking possible is a good defense. The Heralds have excelled in that area and are only getting better.

“We finally got Emily Powers (ACL) back, she was released just last week,” Kubec said. “She’s starting to come into her own. With her back, it’s adding confidence to the rest of the team.

“Alicia and Jordan (Scott) have really stepped up on defense for us.”

Stenroos was 23 of 23 passing, Cimorelli and DeGeorge were both 10 of 10, Powers was 18 of 24, Scott was 7 of 9 and Kovacs was 11 of 14.

The Heralds’ X-factor to this point has been DeCato, who comes out of nowhere to provide a big play when it’s needed.

“She’s been huge for us,” Kubec said. “Against Newbury, we were down in the third set and Reilly made several plays right at the end to give us the win.

“She gets blocks at key times. She comes off the bench and adds to our defense and blocking. She’s had a big influence in us being 7-0.”                

Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

  • TD Club golf A Chris Larick column: TD Club hopes to score

    Though its life was never seriously threatened, the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club has suffered in recent years.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Don A Don McCormack column: A heartfelt plea to curb violence

    Like everyone who loves soccer — and the rest of us whose interest level rises dramatically every four years when the World Cup comes around — Kevin Meier was appalled at the recent attack of soccer referee John Bieniewicz in Michigan by a player that resulted in Bieniewicz tragically dying.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • valor A valiant effort

    Paralympians from all over the United States experienced three days of competition, education and fun during the Valor Games Gold Medal Camp at Spire this weekend.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video