United surges, Springfield cruises

By Tom Williams



No sense debating whether the South Range volleyball team had second-seeded United’s full attention after Ashley McKee scored six straight points in Wednesday’s Game 4 of their Division III sectional final.

“We were all nervous, but realized that once we calmed down that we would come back,” United junior Camryn Jarrett said.

The Raiders, the defending district champions, won two of the first three games. McKee’s serving put them ahead 14-13. An upset was brewing.

But the Eagles took charge, winning the fourth game 25-21 then cruising in the final game (15-4) to advance to Wednesday’s district semifinals at Salem High School. Their opponent will be Springfield which swept Columbiana (25-20, 25-14, 25-20).

The Eagles had to work a lot harder to advance. But in the final game, the Eagles dominated as Mariah Eisenbraun and Alaina Davison each served four points for a rapid 9-1 lead. Four were aces.

“Our kids played really hard, but the fifth game we couldn’t get it going,” South Range coach Pat Keney said. “United did a great job.”

McKee said she felt confident when she started her streak.

“I felt like ‘we deserve this’ and I know our team can do this,” said McKee, a junior who finished with nine digs, 18 assists and seven kills. She scored 12 points with three aces.

“It felt so good,” she said of regaining the lead. “Tonight, we played the best [of our season].”

Seniors Codi Taylor, Cara Mason and Taylor Naples played their final match.

“It was awesome,” Taylor said of the comeback. “We had a good run against them, we just fell short in the end.”

Taylor and Gracie Hiner each made 11 kills.

Keney took over the Raiders program for Rachell Storm-Baker, who stepped down after guiding South Range to three district championships in four seasons.

The Eagles defeated the Raiders (12-12) twice in the regular season and Taylor said Jarrett is a big reason why.

“Camryn is definitely one of the best girls we’ve faced,” Taylor said. “She finds the court so well, she’s very hard to pass off of — she goes everywhere.

“She plays really smart.”


Springfield senior Sara Chaszeyka made 14 kills and four blocks to lead the Tigers (13-10).

“It feels great,” she said of the sectional title. “It definitely feels good to have another one to play.”

Makenzy Capouellez contributed 10 kills and eight points with three aces. She’s one of four sophomores starting for the Tigers, a first in Bill Knight’s 29 seasons as head coach. Kaelen Yemma, Mariah Johnson and Ellie Centofanti are the others.

“They are doing a fantastic job, phenomenal,” Chaszeyka said of the sophomores. “They definitely stepped up to the plate where they were needed.”

Johnson scored 13 points while Lyndsey Smith made five kills and six blocks.

Knight said it wasn’t a hard decision to use younger players.

“The sophomore are athletes,” said Knight, who added that the Tigers lost to the Eagles twice in the Inter-Tri County League season.

Alexis Cross and Rae Dixon each made 12 digs for the Clippers (10-14) Dee Dixon made 11 digs and a block.