November 1, 2014

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Division I volleyball sectionals: Comets ease past Saints; Westlake eliminated

 GRAFTON — Amherst might not have looked like the ninth-ranked Division I team in Ohio. And maybe the Comets didn’t even look like the No. 1 seed in the Midview District.
All that didn’t matter to Laurie Cogan, because Amherst has another chance to prove it’s worthy of the district’s top seed and worthy of its lofty rank in the poll.
The Comets methodically eliminated Southview,
25-11, 25-14, 25-12, in sectional final Wednesday. Amherst (21-2) will play fourth-seeded Medina, a 25-12, 25-19, 25-18 winner over Westlake in Wednesday’s other semifinal, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
There is only one statistic that’s important at this time of the season, and that’s getting the win,” Cogan said. “We’re going to the district semifinal, and I’m all right with that. There have been a lot of top-seeded teams that don’t look sharp in their first tournament matches.
“Some girls did very well tonight,” the coach added. “Others didn’t bring their A games but they hung in there and the team played well overall. Mission accomplished.”
A couple of girls who performed quite well for the Comets were outside hitters Courtney Jarvis and Deme Morales. Jarvis, a senior all-state candidate, led all hitters with 20 kills. Morales, a freshman, finished with 12 kills, including six in the final game.
“Courtney was consistent,” Cogan said. “She swung her arm extremely well and hit the ball just as hard as she had to hit it. She was very impressive offensively. Deme was impressive too. Both of outside hitters did a good job.”
Southview ended its season with a 13-10 record.
“They’re the elite of the elite,” Southview coach Tom Price said of Amherst. “There is no shame in (losing).
“I told the girls, ‘You’re looking at what hard work is,’” Price said. “You have to move your feet. You have to maintain intensity for the entire match.”
The Saints had Amherst in a 7-7 tie in Game 1 before the Comets unloaded with five straight and nine of the next 11 points for a 16-9 lead when Southview called a time out. The Comets didn’t let up and again scored nine of 11 points to finish the game.
“It’s the same situations,” Price said. “We start out looking like things will be all right. Then we get in some rotations and we can’t maintain our play.”
Jarvis had eight kills in Game 1. Morales had kills for three of the final four points.
The Comets had little difficulty with the Saints in the second and third games, building healthy leads and coasting to victory. Gina Lurry had six kills and Ashley Evans added five kills for Southview.
Medina’s victory over Westlake in Wednesday’s opening match was a radically different affair. Medina (21-3) was as sharp as it had been all season, according to its coach, Jason Schellenberger.
“We played a great match,” Schellenberger said. “We were a little down, with our mental mistakes in the second game, but we overcame them. This is the first district semifinal for Medina in my 10 years as coach and we’re thrilled.”
Westlake (13-11), which began its season with a loss to Medina in four games, never led. Game 1 was particularly cruel as the Demons fell behind 18-6.
“For whatever reason, we were nervous in Game 1,” Westlake coach Dan Berkheimer said. “We looked like ourselves in the other games, but Medina is an excellent team and teams have to bring their A games against them.”
Hanna Dixon led the Demons with eight kills.  Emily Dvorak had seven kills and Jennifer Wolf added six. Coletta Carmichael had 21 assists and Heather Pyle had 15 digs and went 29-for-30 serve receiving.
Contact Steve Byrne at 329-7137 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.