Niles beats Lordstown in 3

NIles' Keara Taylor-Hall (18) goes for a kill as Lordstown's Kendall Adams (15) attempts to block during their match in Niles on Monday. The Red Dragons won 3-0.

NILES — For those never attending a Niles volleyball game, you might see what seems to be odd behavior. The most noticeable is the periodic knocks on the floor by different players.

“We are a very superstitious team,” senior Keara Taylor-Hall said. “Like a knock on wood kind of thing.”

“It’s just something fun they do,” Niles coach Ron Slipkasky added.

There was very little need for superstition Monday night, as Niles knocked off Lordstown in three games, 25-14, 25-17, 25-14.

“We had a great effort tonight,” Slipkasky said. “Great job offensively swinging, great job digging the ball. It was a solid overall effort all the way around.”

Lordstown's Kellee Applegate (right) attacks the ball against the double block of Niles' Keara Taylor-Hall (18) and Jane Parry (1) during their match in Niles on Monday. The Red Dragons won 3-0.

The main offensive weapon for Niles (12-3, 5-3) last night was Taylor-Hall. Her presence was felt from all of the court, but most of her damage came from her overpowering play at the net. Taylor-Hall finished the contest with 16 kills and 9 digs.

“I couldn’t do it without my team,” Taylor-Hall said. “We have great teamwork, and we play as a team.”

Niles erased a Lordstown lead in the second set with the help of Taylor-Hall and Taylor Shaner, and never looked back. Shaner added 10 kills, and eight service points for Niles.

“We just played effort,” Taylor-Hall said. “Our effort was there, our hustle was there. We communicate, and let each other know, ‘hey next point.’ “

Lordstown was led by the all-around play of Kellee Applegate. She had 17 kills, 11 digs and three aces for the match.

Niles' Taylor Shaner (13) tips the ball over the net against he defense of Lordstown's Ava Spano (11) during their match in Niles on Monday. The Red Dragons won 3-0.

Applegate’s efforts were not enough to overtake the Red Dragons. Niles continued its aggressive play, and won their 12th match on the season.

“We’ve had a great year,” Slipkasky said. “Three of those losses were when a few of my girls were hurt. Two of the girls are back now.

“We have played consistent volleyball all year, and we have played a little better than the competition all year.”

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