ELYRIA — Kit O’Shaughnessy finished Tuesday night’s match with 16 kills, a block kill, 10 assists and nine points.
That was almost half the points Elyria Catholic racked up in its three-game victory over West Shore Conference rival North Ridgeville.
“If that’s not proof that the 6-2 (offense) works for us, I don’t know what is,” EC coach Jen Lee said.
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Nearly everything worked for the Panthers as they posted 25-10, 25-9, 25-15 scores. The Game 3 score was misleading, as EC (5-0, 3-0 WSC) owned a 22-5 lead before North Ridgeville (2-3, 0-2) staged a rally a bit too late.
O’Shaughnessy was especially dominant in Game 3, totaling nine kills. Marie Vasitas, the other setter for the Panthers’ 6-2, led with 24 assists and served 17 points with two aces.
“We tried to improve on the little things, like our free-ball play and our serving,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Marie did a good job of putting the ball where it needed to be. I was able to find some holes (open spots) on the floor.”
A lot of O’Shaughnessy’s kills came when she hit down the line — something new to the player who was strictly a setter in last year’s 5-1 attack.
“I’m challenging (O’Shaughnessy) with different moves,” Lee said. “She’s not a natural outside hitter. I give her suggestions on where to hit and she does her best to execute them.”
O’Shaughnessy was hardly the Panthers’ only offensive star. Middle hitter Karissa McGrath had 11 kills and a block kill as EC totaled 49 kills for the night.
“Just the energy of this team keeps me going,” McGrath said. “If I can play well I think it gets the whole team going.”
Abbey Flowers, seeing her first action since recovering from a broken foot, added five kills and a block kill. Rachel Duffield also had five kills and a block kill and led EC with seven digs. Brooke Nedrich had five kills.
“They’re working a lot on getting more and more aggressive,” Lee said.
“They’re disciplined,” North Ridgeville coach Dana Peterson said of EC. “They only lost one key player from last year. They’re definitely going to have an amazing season.”
Peterson said she was still proud of how her team scored 10 of the final 13 points in Game 3.
“They got down and they still kept fighting,” Peterson said. “They blocked Abbey (Flowers), who is one of the best middle hitters in the conference. I’m glad they didn’t give up.”
Jessica Lentz led the Rangers with five kills and a block kill. North Ridgeville had only 12 of its points on kills.
The score was tied at 2 in Game 1 when the Panthers began pulling away. EC led from gate-to-wire in Game 2 and was ahead 11-1 to begin the third game.
One area where EC was not dominant was serving. The Panthers had nine bad serves, though just one came in Game 3. The Rangers had only one bad serve.
Contact Steve Byrne at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.