NORTH RIDGEVILLE — After posting only three wins last year, Midview already has one through the first two matches, beating North Ridgeville 25-16, 25-22, 16-25, 25-18 in the Southwestern Conference opener Tuesday night.
It was the first career varsity coaching victory for rookie Debbie Tomasheski.
The difference was Midview’s varsity experience. There are several players returning from last year’s team that went through the tough times, including junior Lindsay Frambach, who dominated at the net, recording 25 kills, including eight in the final match-clinching set.
“It’s definitely a lot different, a lot more aggressive I feel like, and we are kind of flowing on the court,” Frambach said. “There is trust between all of us that is making a big difference.”
The Middies were the aggressors in the first two sets, turning around a 15-11 deficit in the first when Alyssa Knipper ran off seven straight points (four aces). Rachel Spayd closed out the win with the final five service points — the last coming on a kill from Gretchen Hack.
“I think we have all gone up from last year and we are all on an equal level, so we can all be a resource for each other,” said Knipper, who finished with eight kills. “I think putting everything behind us and having a new coach, that has brought a calmness.”
Hack was the beneficiary of the Middies’ big hitting, recording 43 assists.
The Rangers and Middies went back-and-forth in the second set until Spayd put together a four-point service run on a Frambach kill and three hitting mistakes from the Rangers, who were playing their season opener.
Ridgeville played its best in the third, settling down on defense and finding rhythm on offense with better communication. The Rangers finished the set on an 11-2 run after being tied 14-14.
North Ridgeville’s power serve game paid off, with Emma Shupp and Hailey Elbert each picking up a pair of aces to send the match to a fourth set.
“It was an eye opener for them,” North Ridgeville coach Lisa Bakaitis said. “We graduated a lot of varsity minutes, so we don’t have a lot of varsity experience. Our focus now is just the speed of the game.”
Midview trailed early in the final set, but Frambach took over at the net and, when she hit the back row and served her team to a 21-16 lead, Knipper and Spayd each had two kills to cement the win.
“We went back to the basics (in the fourth set),” Tomasheski said. “The girls stayed where they needed to be and we moved on from there. All of our girls, except one or two, play Junior Olympics and I think they all had great seasons to help push them to the next level.
“They came out this year different players. Transitioning, Frambach hitting harder, finding the holes and doing what we need to do.”
Midview 3, North Ridgeville 1
North Ridgeville 16-22-25-18
KILLS – (M) Lindsay Frambach 25, Alyssa Knipper 8, Rachel Spayd 5; (NR) Akua Agyemang 5, Emma Shupp 4, Hailey Elbert 3.
ASSISTS – (M) Gretchen Hack 43; (NR) Sydney Wade 11, Emma Coreno 9.
DIGS – (M) Emily Lockhart 18; (NR) Alexis Jones 7, Avery Jones 4.
ACES – (M) Knipper 4, Mackie Cline 3; (NR) Hailey Elbert 4, Emma Shupe 3.
BLOCK-KILL – (M) Spayd 6; (NR) Agyemang 3, Shupp 1.