August 1, 2014

Elyria
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Volleyball: Olmsted Falls moving towards another SWC title

OLMSTED FALLS — Dawn Moses doesn’t want to get overconfident.
Not yet anyway, in spite of her Olmsted Falls Bulldogs taking another step toward this year’s Southwestern Conference volleyball title by defeating Westlake, 25-19, 25-10, and 25-12 Thursday night. With the win, the Bulldogs, 9-1 overall, are 5-0 in league play — two games better than the Demons and one in front of Amherst.
“There’s a long way to go,” said Moses, Olmsted Falls’ veteran coach. “We’re not halfway through the league schedule yet.”
Maybe so, but the way Falls took command midway through Game 1 and was never threatened thereafter, sent a strong message to the young Demons, who have just one senior on the roster.
“We have to be on top of our game to challenge them,” said Westlake coach Dan Berkheimer. “It’s a big challenge. We haven’t seen a team that plays that well to this point.”
Westlake hung tough in the first game. A crossing kill by junior Hanna Dixon and a hitting error by Falls pulled the Demons to within 15-13, but the Bulldogs scored the next six points to take command. Senior setter Julie Radigan, who had 26 assists on the night, managed to find her front-row hitters time and again and the Bulldogs played tenacious defense all night long.
“We’ve been working on defending our side,” Radigan said. “We don’t want anything to drop. The passing was pretty good and we were able to run our offense pretty quick.”
Olmsted Falls pulled out to an 8-1 advantage in Game 2 and won fairly easily. A backcourt violation took away a point and a side-out for the Demons, which didn’t help the cause. Christine Peffer and Radigan were able to block a number of Westlake kill attempts. Peffer had four solo blocks and nine kills for the match. Junior Lauren Whyte led Falls with 13 kills.
In the third game, the Bulldogs used a seven-point run early to take a 10-3 lead. Another run of eight unanswered points made it 18-5. Lauren White did the service work on the first run that included an ace, while Dayna Roberts was at the line for the second that saw Radigan set up Calli Roberts for two kills. Roberts and Brittany Snider teamed up on a double block for one point with Roberts getting a solo block as well.
In addition to Dixon, juniors Jennifer Wolf, Jessica Roff and sophomore Erin Thomas played well for Westlake.
“(Olmsted Falls) started to separate in the first game,” Berkheimer said. “They’re very tall and talented. We hope to change things the second time we play. We only have one senior and we start two sophomores.”
“I thought Westlake played very good deep defense,” said Moses. “We were able to pass the ball and run our offense. We were able to attack the middle. I thought we played pretty well.”
Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.