The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

October 14, 2013

Postseason Volleyball Preview — Geneva, Grand Valley, Riverside, Jefferson the top seeds in the area as spikers hit tourney trail

For the area’s 10 Ohio High School Athletic Association member schools that field volleyball squads, the second season begins over the course of the next few days.

The area’s squads — Conneaut, Edgewood, Geneva, Grand Valley, Jefferson, Lakeside, Madison, Perry, Pymatuning Valley and Riverside — are spread across three separate sectional-district tournaments.

The area’s other team — coach Stephanie Kubec’s 20-1 St. John Heralds , champions of the Lake Effect Conference — is one of the area’s best teams, but is not a member of the OHSAA.

Following is a look at where and when the area’s 10 OHSAA-member squads will dive into the postseason waters.

Division II

At Jefferson, this long-standing tournament has five area teams among its 11-team field.

The highest area seed belongs to the Geneva Eagles. Coach Annah Haeseler’s Premier Athletic Conference championships have a first-round bye and will play the winner of a sectional semifinal between 10th-seeded Conneaut and third-seeded Lakeview — champion of the All-American Conference — in a sectional championship match Thursday.

The match between coach Mo Ritari’s Spartans (10-11) and the Bulldogs (19-3) of Scott Taylor — who has announced he is retiring from coaching after this season, his 17th, with 277 wins, to date, including five 20-win campaigns — will be played Tuesday at 8 p.m. in Falcon Gym. The first match Tuesday will pit 11th-seeded and winless Harvey against second-seeded Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin.

When Geneva (17-4) takes on either Conneaut or Lakeview on Thursday, that match will tip off at 7:30 p.m. Lakeview is ranked 15th in the latest Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association state poll.

Three other area teams are in the top half of this bracket.

Coach Don Palm’s Jefferson Falcons (18-4), the tournament’s fifth seed and runner-up to Lakeview in the AAC, have a first-round bye and will meet the winner of a first-round match between sixth-seeded West Geauga and ninth-seeded Streetsboro in a sectional championship match.

The West Geauga-Streetsboro match will be played Tuesday at 6:30, with the winner moving on to meet Jefferson on Wednesday at 7:30.

The first match Tuesday will pit two area squads — coach Dave Fowler’s seventh-seeded Edgewood Warriors (15-9) and coach Katy White’s eighth-seeded Perry Pirates — against one another in a sectional final, which will start at 5 p.m.

The winner of that contest will move on to meet top-seeded Lake Catholic in a sectional championship match, which will be played before Jefferson’s contest on Wednesday, starting at 6 p.m.

The district semifinals will be played a week from Tuesday at 6 and 7:30, with the district championship match slated for a week from Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

North Coast League rivals Lake Catholic and NDCL have met in the last three district championship matches, the Cougars winning all three times.

In fact, coach Rich Severino’s Cougars have won this district for five consecutive seasons. The last time Lake Catholic did not win this district was in 2007, when Hubbard defeated it in the title match.

The winner moves on to the regional tournament at Stow.

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