Eagles can’t solve Crestwood

BOARDMAN – Crestwood coach Brittany Mayle isn’t one for sitting still.

Her perpetual motion rubs off on her team.

The upbeat and always smiling Red Devils volleyball coach saw her top-seeded team contort every which way to thwart every kill attempt the fourth-seeded Hubbard Eagles could muster.

Crestwood ended up rolling to a 3-0 victory in Tuesday’s Division II district semifinal at Boardman High School. The Red Devils meet third-seeded Salem in Thursday’s district final. The Quakers beat West Branch in Tuesday’s other semifinal, 3-0.

“Our motto is nothing hits our side of the floor,” said Mayle, whose team won, 25-23, 25-14, 25-19. “Everything is pursued. Other teams let balls drop. We just don’t let other teams hit our side of the floor. That’s the best we’ve done all year.”

Hubbard coach Jeremy Porter, whose team ends the season at 17-8, said Crestwood posed a big problem to his team.

“First time we ran into a team that was taller than us this year,” Porter said. “We struggled with their blocking ability and finding holes in their defense. Tried to make some adjustments to move the ball a little bit quicker. It just didn’t work out. Their setter is one of the best setters I’ve seen in a long time.”

Holly Hoffman had 32 assists for Crestwood (21-3), while Haley Zigman and Morgan Strenk combined for 18 kills.

Macey Sarisky led Hubbard with 13 kills and Kelly Matanin had 27 assists.

However, the Eagles couldn’t find a way to get through the Crestwood defense.

“When we scouted them last week, we knew we had to take away their middle tips a lot,” Mayle said. “They got a lot of kills that way against Field.

“We knew they were a tough team. They kept fighting and never gave up.”

Hubbard held fast in the first game, getting back-to-back blocks by Michelle Peachock to cut the Crestwood lead to 19-17.

“We gave it our best shot,” Porter said. “The first game a couple of balls fell a foot or two feet out of bounds. They fall in, you never know. We played our hardest the whole game.”

The good thing for Hubbard is there is only one senior on the roster – Leah McConnell. The rest return next year.

However, Porter said this year’s team, like his counterpart from Crestwood, made him smile.

“I had so much fun coaching them this year,” Porter said. “Great group of girls, intelligent group of girls. It’s a pleasure to coach each and every one of them.”