STEUBENVILLE - The Catholic Central volleyball team has not fared too well against opponents from Jefferson County so far this season.
Catholic Central entered their match with local rival Toronto Wednesday night with a record of 0-4 against county opponents, but the Crusaders were finally able to get one in the win column with a big victory over the Red Knights.
"It was a good night," Catholic Central (9-6) head coach Sherri Barber said. "We played better tonight."
PLAYING DEFENSE — Toronto’s Chelsea Anderson pushes the ball across the net as members of the Catholic Central volleyball team play defense — Taylor Bednar (5), Logan Colabella (2), Kamy Belardine (22), Megan Lloyd (3) and Monica Fischer. The Crusaders won 25-8, 25-22, 25-12.
-- Mike Mathison
The Crusaders played a strong match from the outset en route to a 25-8, 25-23, 25-12, victory.
"We were satisfied to win some of the battles tonight, but we need to finish and win the war," Toronto head coach Chelsey Fletcher said. "It was nice. We really competed in the second set against a sound program. Catholic Central has had a sound program for many years.
"We don't want to just compete for three sets. We went to compete for all five sets. Tonight, we let our nerves get in the way of that."
Individually for Central, Robyn Runkle collected three aces, 42 sets, 21 points and one kill, Monica Fischer recorded one dig, six kills and 11 points and Madeliney Gulan ended up with one ace, four kills and four points.
Megan Lloyd tallied one ace, two blocks, 27 sets and 17 points; Monica Rigaud delivered four blocks, and seven kills; Taylor Bednar produced four kills and 10 points; Kamy Belardine contributed one dig and nine points; and Logan Colabella finished with and one kill.
"Fischer is a fantastic hitter," Fletcher said. "Their middle hitters and their outside hitters are phenomenal."
Individually for Toronto, Miranda Robinson recorded eight points, nine kills, one dig, one block and four assists; Amber Fuller tallied 10 points, two kills, one dig and four assists; and Chelsea Anderson netted eight points, two kills and one block.
Josey Jones scored nine points to go along with one kill and two digs; Katie Spadafora finished with four points, one kill and five blocks; Emily Anderson delivered four points, one kill and two digs; and Mykia West collected two kills and one dig.
"I didn't know a lot about them coming into the match," Barber said. "I have read the quotes in the paper from their coach the last few years. She has had some pretty nice quotes.
"We had a tough loss last night, and I made the kids come in at 4 p.m. today. I talked to them. I told the seniors they need to step up. I inherited a team with seven seniors on it. I told them they needed to pick it up, and they did.
"Every match, we have a word of the day, and today's word was responsibility."
Both teams are scheduled to return to the court today. The Crusaders will host Conotton Valley in their third match in three days.
Toronto will take part in a tri-match along with Paden City at Linsly.
"I told both groups (the seniors and underclassmen) that they needed to relax," Barber said. "This game is supposed to be fun. In big games, we are not having fun. We are playing tight. I told them they need to relax and enjoy it.
"The seniors stepped up tonight. What a difference that made. I have a coachable group of kids. I really do. They are very coachable.
"Volleyball is a game of momentum. Sometimes, it can be hard to get back up. You have to have that confidence. We are not done. We have six games left, and then we are going to get ready for the state tournament. We have to stay positive. We have a good team. We are not done yet. You are going to be hearing about us.
"Our bench stepped up. Fran (Capaldi) and Ashlynne Daley are juniors. They are going to be a great help to us next year."