SYLVANIA — Perrysburg clinched the outright Northern Lakes League volleyball championship Tuesday by defeating Northview on the Wildcats’ Jerry Sigler Court in straight sets, 25-18, 25-23, 25-22.
Perrysburg, ranked eighth in the Division I statewide coaches’ poll, improve to 20-1 and a perfect 13-0 in the NLL while Northview falls to 11-9 and 10-3.
“We had it already (co-championship) and we knew that, but we wanted to claim it all on our own,” Perrysburg coach Laura Davidson said. “No matter what happens from this point forward, it’s ours. They worked their butts off tonight, and I knew they wanted to win this match more than anything.”
Perrysburg has won the NLL title four of the last five years but came up short last year. Redemption was sweet, said senior outside hitter Julia Beer, who led the Yellow Jackets with 17 kills, two blocks and an ace. Beer also had the set winning kills in the first and second set.
“It means everything, especially since last year was so tough for us,” Beer said. “We really had a tough year, but to bounce back this year and win the title means everything. It means the world to us.”
Junior libero Avery Adamski had two aces and was a team leader in digs.
“It means a lot to me and our team. We worked really hard for this in the offseason,” she said. “It’s been a goal of ours, and it feels really good to get it. Not getting it last year after having it a couple years in a row, it feels great.”
When Perrysburg and Northview met the first time on the Yellow Jackets’ court, the Wildcats forced four sets.
Northview coach Chad Rutkowski was impressed with how Perrysburg handled the pressure Tuesday night, sweeping the Wildcats, and added that his team did not.
“They’re a really good team. I think as a team, Perrysburg has a lot of trust in dealing with whatever is presented to them,” Rutkowski said.
“I think we are doing a good job of that, but on crucial points we needed somebody to step up. I think there was one ball that we set right over in the middle of the court, and we had two players right there, but they passed it up. I think that comes with experience,” Rutkowski continued.
Northview was celebrating six seniors during its Senior Night celebration, but most do not start.
“We are really young. We only start one senior, maybe two on a given day, so it comes with experience, and it comes with playing with each other,” Rutkowski said. “Perrysburg has been able to do that because most of them have played together since fourth grade. We’ve just been playing together since August.”
For Perrysburg, senior hitter Mallorie Tansey had 15 kills, sophomore middle blocker Wrigley Takats led the Jackets with five blocks and junior outside hitter Sara Pahl had a team high four aces.
Leading for Northview was 6-1 junior outside hitter Kamryn Hunt with a school record 21 kills in a three-set match while also adding 10 digs and three blocks.
Northview 6-0 junior outside hitter Sydney Hires had 11 kills hitting .318 with eight digs while being led by sophomore setter Natalie Kerchevall with 34 assists and seven digs. Junior libero Dani Wardrop led the Wildcats’ defensive play with a team-high 17 digs.
“I told them they played a great game,” Davidson said. “We came into their house, and they always play well here. It’s a different environment with the (low) ceiling in here, so it’s a different kind of play.
“We know they have some weapons, and they obviously utilize them as much as possible. But I feel like we were able to have a great defensive day today and our serving line played well.”
As a team, Perrysburg had 11 aces and Adamski, senior defensive specialists Payton Blaze and Jenna Rettig, junior setter Giana Frayer and junior outside hitter Sara Pahl were digging up everything in sight.
The Yellow Jackets close the season by hosting cross river rival Maumee on Thursday. Perrysburg opens the Division tournament at 5 p.m. on Oct. 20 facing the Ashland-Toledo Waite winner.
If the Jackets win the sectional final, they advance to the Bascom (Hopewell-Loudon) district tournament for a district semifinal against the Fremont Ross-Wapakoneta winner at 5 p.m. on Oct. 25 at 5 p.m.
Adamski and Beer say that hopes are high for a good tournament run.
“We have a big match on Thursday. It’s Senior Night, and then one day at a time in the tournament and we want to go as far as we can,” Adamski said. “We are super excited and we’re going to put in hard work every day and see how far we can go.”
Beer added, “We want to make it past districts this year. That has been our goal for a long time, and we really feel that we can do it this year.”