by Roger Gordon
It was the best match the Tallmadge volleyball team has played in Adam Hamad's two seasons as the Lady Blue Devils' head coach.
"It was something else to watch, that's for sure," Hamad said.
Tallmadge still came out on the short end, though, falling Oct. 11 to powerful Revere 19-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 in Bath Township. The win gave the Lady Minutemen the Suburban League American Conference championship.
"It was a very, very close match, closer than our three-set loss to them earlier in the season," Hamad said. "We changed our blocking schemes.
"Senior Sydnee East and freshman Amelia Perdue played great defense at the net. It made a big difference from the last time we played Revere."
Perdue wound up with 39 assists and 19 digs.
Senior outside hitter Brittney Harris had 12 service points, including two aces.
Sophomore outside hitter Alex Perrin had 11 kills.
"If we do what we're supposed to do, we'll see Revere again," Hamad said.
The coach is speaking of the upcoming Tallmadge Division II sectional-district tournament. The Lady Blue Devils are seeded second and the Lady Minutemen are seeded first.
Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy is seeded third and Akron Archbishop Hoban is seeded fourth in the 12-team competition.
Tallmadge received a first-round bye. The Lady Blue Devils are scheduled to play in a sectional final Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. against the winner of the match between Akron Coventry and St. Vincent-St. Mary.
"It's nice that we get to play in our own gym," Hamad said. "Sitting on a bus and waiting for a half hour or an hour kind of wears on teams. It will be like a home match. I absolutely feel we can win the district tournament."
On Oct. 6, Tallmadge defeated conference rival Highland 25-12, 25-13, 25-13 in Medina.
"Highland was a talented enough team that it was a good challenge for us," Hamad said. "We had to work for everything.
"But it was still a good match for us to see how we play with different lineups and schemes in tuning up for the tournament."
Senior outside hitter Jessica Herman had 12 kills.
"Jess is always a player who is really a joy to coach and to watch," Hamad said. "The way she can hit the ball she's a high-level player.
"It's hard to compare her with a lot of other people who we play against because she's on another level.
"I really think her captain role has taken her to a whole different level.
"She's our emotional leader, keeping the team up. She and Brittney, our other captain, really hold down the fort for us."
Perdue, a setter, had 38 assists 14 service points, including two aces.
"Amelia did a phenomenal job as always," Hamad said.
"She makes very smart decisions and when she gets a good pass, it never goes to waste.
"That's something I never have to worry about with her."
Senior libero Olivia Ayres totaled 20 digs.
"Olivia has been solid for us all season," Hamad said "She's all over the court.
"In my opinion, she's the best libero in our conference.
"She's really something special. She makes things much easier for our hitters. When we get the combination of her, our setter and our hitters going well, we're unstoppable."
Tallmadge was scheduled to carry a 15-4 overall record and an 8-3 conference mark into its regular-season finale Oct. 13 on senior night at home against conference foe Aurora, but results were not available at press time.