by Roger Gordon
The Tallmadge volleyball team continues to roll.
The Lady Blue Devils recently won three straight matches to improve to 13-3 overall and 6-2 in the Suburban League American Conference.
The week began Sept. 24 with a barn burner at non-conference opponent Waterloo in Atwater. Tallmadge prevailed 17-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-27, 15-8.
The Lady Blue Devils' two other victories were less competitive.
The earned a 25-12, 25-18, 25-14 win Sept. 27 at home against American Conference rival Kent Roosevelt. They also won Sept. 28 at Copley, another conference foe, 26-24, 25-23, 25-17.
"The win over Waterloo was a really tight match until the last set," Tallmadge head coach Adam Hamad said.
Senior outside hitter Jessica Herman led the way for the Lady Blue Devils with 15 kills and two aces.
"Jessica played very well," Hamad said. "As always, she had a huge influence. Being such a powerful hitter and smart player, she was able to find a lot of open spots on the court. Even if she starts a little slowly, she always finishes strong."
Senior libero Olivia Ayres was another big contributor.
"Olivia leads by example," Hamad said. "She kept us going even though we had some bad plays here and there. She kept us in the match mentally and then she started passing really well, which made it a lot easier for us the rest of the way."
Freshman setter Amelia Perdue had 52 assists and 13 service points.
Freshman outside hitter Jillian Catalano totaled 13 service points and two aces.
The coach called the win over Kent a team win in the truest sense.
"We had a lot of JV [junior varsity] players who saw lots of action, including three freshmen," he said.
Senior outside hitter Brittney Harris made a triumphant return from an injury.
"We sat Brittney the first set since she hadn't played in awhile," Hamad said. "When we put her in, she didn't necessarily start off strong, but she finished strong and won a lot of points for us on the outside."
Sophomore Alex Perrin, another outside hitter, has been fighting illness but, like Harris, entered the match in the second set and played very well.
"Alex moved the ball and found ways to score," Hamad said.
Herman had nine kills, three aces and 12 digs, while Perdue amassed 34 assists. Senior middle hitter Jamie McGhee had 13 service points and an ace. °
The victory over Copley may also have been three sets, but it was much more competitive than the match with Kent.
"Copley was neck and neck with us the entire way. They're a solid team and are coached very well," Hamad said. "Olivia made us look good from the back row when we needed it most."
Herman had 10 kills and 10 digs. Perdue had 30 assists.
Perrin had two blocks, while Catalano had an ace.
Tallmadge is scheduled to host American Conference rival Barberton Oct. 4. The Lady Blue Devils travel to Highland, another conference foe, Oct. 6 in Medina. Both matches are set to begin at 7 p.m.