by Roger Gordon
Another week, another win for the Tallmadge volleyball team.
The host Lady Blue Devils raised their record to 14-3 overall and 7-2 in the Suburban League American Conference Oct. 4 with a 25-10, 25-12, 25-13 victory over Barberton at James O. Maddox Court.
"We played a good match," Tallmadge head coach Adam Hamad said. "This late in the season, especially if we're winning by a large margin, I don't mind putting some JV [junior varsity] players in there. But, at the same time, we're trying to tune up our regulars to get ready for the postseason."
Leading the way for the Lady Blue Devils was senior outside hitter Jessica Herman, who had 10 kills.
"Jessica had a high hitting percentage," Hamad said. "She played down the majority of the time, which was huge. Even for a tip off the block or if she's swinging hard, she capitalizes on everything.
"She knows where to put the ball. Everyone gets really excited when she's about to hit because chances are we're going to get a point. More importantly, though, to boost her confidence, I told Jessica to basically swing away, hammer it down, keep the energy up and keep everyone in the match."
Freshman setter Amelia Perdue had 35 assists, 14 service points and two aces.
"Amelia did great," Hamad said. "We were passing the ball very well, so she was able to give our hitters great opportunities to score.
"She didn't have any major handling errors. Even though Jessica was doing so well, Amelia was able to get a lot of her other teammates involved, too."
Two other major contributors were seniors Olivia Ayres and Ashley Lane. Ayres, the libero, and Lane, an outside hitter, each had 15 digs.
"Olivia played well," Hamad said. "She makes it easier not only for the players on the court, but the players on the bench, by keeping their spirits high.
"Ashley did a phenomenal job. She can come off the bench and perform well. When she gets in there, she's solid.
"A lot of times a player who doesn't normally see much action panics when they get thrown in the game, but not Ashley. She fits right in.She had to set a couple balls and took care of it. She's also a very hard worker."
Tallmadge was scheduled to play American Conference rival Highland Oct. 6 at Medina, but results were not available at press time. The Lady Blue Devils are set to play Revere, another conference foe, Oct. 11 in Bath Township.
They are scheduled to host conference foe Aurora in their regular-season finale Oct. 13 on senior night. Both matches are set to begin at 7 p.m.