Tag Archive for: Independence


Photo Credit: Noelle Nunes

Independence , OH- Trying to bounce back from a tough week 2 loss, the Conneaut Spartans faced off against the Independence Blue Devils, resulting in a final score of 33-15 in favor of the Spartans. With 4 minutes and 26 seconds left in the first quarter, Conneaut’s Wyatt Payne powered through the Independence defense with a 3-yard touchdown run, putting Conneaut ahead 7-0. The Spartans continued their strong start when Independence’s Xavier Wilson fumbled the ball, which was promptly recovered by Conneaut. Then, with just 29 seconds remaining in the quarter, Wyatt Payne added another touchdown to his name with a 10-yard run. Unfortunately, the extra point attempt was no good, leaving the score at Conneaut 13 – Independence 0 at the end of the first quarter. As the second quarter neared its conclusion, Ty Covill of Conneaut extended the lead with a 2-yard touchdown run. However, the two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful. The scoreboard read Conneaut 19 – Independence 0 at halftime. Independence came out of halftime determined to make a comeback. Rocco Ressler managed to get Independence on the board with a 5-yard touchdown run, followed by a successful extra point. Nevertheless, Conneaut quickly answered back with Wyatt Payne securing his third touchdown of the game, this time a 4-yard run, with the extra point good. Max Gleason then showcased his skills with a 55-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Osborne, extending Conneaut’s lead. The third quarter ended with the score Conneaut 33 – Independence 7. In the final quarter, Independence’s Rocco Ressler connected with Tyler Miller for a 17-yard touchdown pass, and they successfully converted a two-point play, narrowing the gap. However, Conneaut’s lead was insurmountable, and the game concluded with a final score of Conneaut Spartans 33 – Independence Blue Devils 15.

Wyatt Payne had a standout performance, scoring three touchdowns and increasing his season total to five after just three games. Conneaut improved their record to 2-1, setting up an exciting matchup against Chagrin Falls (2-1) in week 3, while Independence remained winless at 0-3 and looked forward to a clash with Cardinal (1-2).


BARBERTON OH- Thursday night’s regional semifinal between Crestview and Independence was a thriller! And if you asked the Blue Devil faithful, they’d probably tell you it was the last thing they expected. Independence came in on their path to their third straight state championship appearance. Surely they wouldn’t have trouble in the regional semifinals. Well, the Rebels were not going to be tough to beat on this night. After being dominated in set 1, Crestview fought and clawed their way to a set 5, where eventually they’d come up just short. Independence quest for a title stays alive, but certainly not comfortably. (25-13 17-25 25-17 28-30 15-13)

Abbey Emch gave Independence problems all night. She came in to the night with just a few less blocks by herself than the entire Independence team. Emch was a force the Devils couldn’t get around. She led the Rebels with 14 kills, and was 1 block away from a double double with 9. Grace Auer finished with a triple double on the night with 12 kills, 22 assists, and 18 digs. Lucy Montgomery finished with a double double collecting 12 kills, and 17 digs. Crestview as a team finished with 16 blocks. Shelby Rambo had 5.

Crestview ends their incredible season 26-1.


COLUMBIANA OH- It’s going to be the third year in a row the Crestview volleyball team will head to Barberton for a regional tournament game. The last two appearances didn’t go as planned, but they say the best way to grow is through experience. The stage will not be a surprise for this Rebels team. They know all too well what the standard is to win in Barberton. Standing in their way is state superpower Independence. The Blue Devils are trying to get to their third straight state championship. The title has eluded them the last two seasons, but they are hoping it’s three times a charm. Both teams come in to this game with an undefeated mark. The Rebels 26-0, the Blue Devils 25-0.

The Rebels have a balanced attack led by Lucy Montgomery with 293 kills. Grace Auer is also over 250 on the year, coming in with a kill count of 251. If you thought that was it for the Rebel attack, you’d be mistaken. Freshman Abbey Emch has had an impressive season with 232 kills. Shelby Rambo is no slouch in the middle either with 173 kills.

When you look at the Blue Devils offense, they don’t have anyone with over 200 kills, but they have 6 players with more than 100. They are led by freshman Aubrey Anders with 195 kills. She also has a very impressive .434 hitting percentage, only committing 34 attack errors all season. Senior Calli Prokopius has a solid 160 kills.

We had the chance to talk with Crestview head coach Alisha Auer, and the Rebel seniors to talk about this big matchup in the Purple Palace in Barberton. If you can’t make it to the game, we will have the broadcast on YSN at 6:00.



Crestview saw their season come to a close on Thursday night with a three set loss to Independence. (22-25 4-25 8-25)

The energy in the gym at Barberton High School was ramped up after a thrilling match to start the night. Crestview and Independence saw their start time pushed back about 45 minutes because of the length of match one. The wait didn’t affect either team in set one as it was highly contested. After being tied 5-5, Independence took a 9-5 lead and seemed to have momentum. The Rebels came marching back getting it to 7-9. They stayed in striking distance until they finally saw room to make a run and tie the set at 16-16. The Rebels would take an 18-17 lead later on and looked to be on their way. With the set tied at 20-20 by far, the longest rally of the night went the way of the Blue Devils, and they used that to rattle off 3 in a row. With set point at 24-21, the Rebels were only able to get one point back before bowing out of set one 22-25. Although they stayed close and made some clutch points, the Rebels offense struggled in set one. They only gathered 4 kills, and finished with a .000 hitting percentage.

Min set two that lack of offense would catch up with the Rebels in a haunting way. The Devils aired up their errors and played crystal clean volleyball. The Rebels could not get any traction once this high powered Blue Devils team got rolling. They were like a freight train each swing getting harder than the last. The Rebels tried calling timeouts, tried to get their energy up but it was to no avail as the Devils have clear momentum in the set.

That momentum did not go anywhere in set three, as the Devils jumped out to a 9-2 lead. That quickly ballooned into a bigger lead. The Rebels showed some fight and pride as they went on a couple of small runs towards the end. Tess Neville hammered away what would end up being her last kill as a Rebel late in the set. The Devils persisted and took set three 25-8.

Tess Neville led a struggling offense with 2 kills, Brenna Auer also added 2 kills. Lucy Montgomery had 7 assists.

The Rebels end their season at 24-2. Coach Auer had five powerful words for her team that echoed through the gym. “This doesn’t define our season.” The Rebels win a district championship for the first time since 2016 and put their program back on the map.