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by Roger Gordon
It was a perfect week for the Tallmadge volleyball team.
In fact, it has been a perfect season for the Lady Blue Devils.
They were off to an 8-0 start, including a 4-0 record in the Suburban League American Conference as of press time.
The most recent gem was a 25-11, 25-15, 25-10 home victory Sept. 13 over American Conference rival Highland at James O. Maddox Court.
Leading the way for Tallmadge was senior outside hitter Brittney Harris, who had 10 kills.
"Brittney had a good match," Lady Blue Devils head coach Adam Hamad said.
"She had a lot of opportunities to swing and she really made sure she put the ball in the right spot."
Freshman setter Amelia Perdue had 22 assists, senior middle hitter Jamie McGhee had two blocks and junior outside hitter Sydney Schertzinger totaled 16 service points.
On Sept. 10, Tallmadge defended its title at the Chardon Hilltopper Invitational.
First, the Lady Blue Devils disposed of Orwell Grand Valley 27-25, 25-18.
"It was a close match," Hamad said. "Grand Valley has a solid program. They have a phenomenal middle hitter. We had a tough time acclimating ourselves to her.
"We started slowly but finally got rolling in the second set and set the tempo for the rest of the day."
Sophomore middle hitter Alex Perrin had six kills, 17 service returns, an ace and a block.
"Alex definitely stepped up, for the majority of the day actually," Hamad said. "She did a great job."
Junior right-side hitter Sydney Schertzinger had five kills, five digs and 14 service returns.
"Sydney played phenomenally," Hamad said. "When the opportunity presented itself, she took advantage of it. She's a very smart player and kept a level head."
Senior middle hitter Sydnee East had two kills, an ace, two digs and 11 service returns.
Perdue had four digs, 22 assists and eight service returns, while Harris amassed four kills, an ace, a block, four digs and 16 service returns.
Freshman outside hitter Jillian Catalano totaled five kills, a block, a pair of digs and a dozen service returns.
In its second match at the Chardon Invitational, Tallmadge defeated Middlefield Cardinal, the team it beat for the championship last year, 25-16, 26-24.
"Cardinal is a pretty solid team," Hamad said. "We pushed through at the end and made a lot less errors in the second set that in the first.
"Brittney had another great match. She did a phenomenal job. She ran quickly, transitioned well and made good blocks. She did everything you need to do to win a match."
In the championship match, Tallmadge beat Chardon 25-13, 25-15.
Perdue and senior defensive specialist Olivia Ayres made the all-tournament team.
"Amelia had a sensational day," Hamad said. "She played really smart and ran a really fast-paced offense, which was very impressive.
"Olivia was all over the place. She only played the match against Chardon because she had to take the ACT, but she still made the all-tournament team.
"That's how well she played. She picked up anything and everything. It was the best she has played all year."
The Lady Blue Devils opened up the week with a 25-13, 25-17, 25-23 win Sept. 8 against conference foe Barberton on the road.
Senior middle hitter Jamie McGhee led the way with eight kills, four service points and an ace.
"Jamie has always been a real anchor in the middle for us," Hamad said. "She's big at the net.
"When she gets the ball, she can either put it down or place it right where she wants. She has a good balance of knowing when and when not to be aggressive."
Harris had four digs, Perdue had 20 assists and Catalano had four digs and three blocks.
East had three blocks, while Ayres had an ace.
"We have a full head of steam right now," Hamad said. "As long as the girls keep playing the way they're playing, I see us going very deep in the postseason."
Tallmadge was scheduled to host conference rival Revere Sept. 15 before heading to Massillon for the Jackson Invitational Sept. 17. Results of those matches were not available at press time.
The Lady Blue Devils are set to visit conference foe Aurora Sept. 20 at 7 p.m.