WESTFIELD TWP. — Cloverleaf’s volleyball team impatiently counted down the days until it could exact revenge on Coventry. That time came Tuesday night.
Brooke Swain hammered 23 kills, Jamie Briggs dished out a career-high 54 assists and Kaila Kovick made 25 digs as the Colts earned a 25-23, 25-21, 21-25, 25-14 victory over the Comets in Portage Trail Conference Metro Division action.
Cloverleaf (9-4, 8-1) knocked Coventry (9-3, 7-2) out of a first-place tie in the league and erased the bad memory of the Comets’ five-game comeback win on Aug. 24.
“They came into tonight thinking they were seeing the same Cloverleaf team that they beat last month,” said senior middle hitter Swain, who matched her career best in kills and made a match-high six blocks. “But we’re a completely different team and have improved in every way since then.”
Senior setter Briggs agreed, saying, “We’ve definitely become stronger all around, especially our serve reception, which hurt us the first time. It was a very stressful day, but we feel great now.”
Junior outside hitter Chase Mizell had 17 kills and senior outside hitter Kristen Hall added 13 for the Colts, who extended their winning streak to nine matches. It is the longest run by a Medina County squad since 2015 and the fourth longest in school history.
Two-time defending champion Cloverleaf also seized sole possession of the PTC Metro lead over idle Norton, which is 7-1 in the conference. The Panthers host the Colts on Thursday.
“We love to win and we’re happy to have (paid) back Coventry, but we’re already past it,” Mizell said. “We’ve moved onto the next match and are looking forward to going to Norton. When we have the pressure on us, I think we play better.”
Junior libero Kovick was a force in the back row, scoring 16 service points with four aces while frustrating Coventry’s 5-foot-11 junior middle hitters. Ashley Merka blasted a match-high 24 kills and Jasmine Yates had 17, but the damage could have been much worse had Kovick, Briggs and Swain not combined for 50 digs.
There were 20 ties and 10 lead changes in the match, which featured myriad momentum swings in the first two games. Mizell had seven kills and Hall added five in the opener as Cloverleaf rallied from a 22-21 deficit.
Fittingly, given the total team effort required by the Colts, the first two game-winning kills were provided by the unusual combinations of Kovick to Briggs and Swain to Mizell.
“Good teams do good things at good times,” Cloverleaf coach Veronica Briggs said. “After what happened the first last against Coventry, every single one of these girls wanted this win.”
Cloverleaf won the junior varsity match in three games.
Contact Brian Dulik at firstname.lastname@example.org.