By Ty Bartell
AKRON OH- As the first days of October roll through Northeast, Ohio, many volleyball teams are
sharpening their iron so to speak in preparation for the upcoming state tournament. One of those teams, The Archbishop Hoban Knights have been rolling to say the least. With a sweet 16-0 record heading into this week, Hoban looked to keep the freight train moving forward with a Monday match. Not just any old Monday, it was also senior night for the lone senior Knight, Sophia Day! No easy task in the match itself, with Hoban hosting in The Hiland Hawks who were 15-1 going into Monday. With both teams having incredible seasons, it felt like a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao type battle!
Set one had both teams exchange scores and the lead as momentum hung in the balance. The Knights would manage a key set-clinching rally behind the great defensive work at the net in an attempt to offset the height and talent of Ava Troyer. That rally secured the set by a final of 25-14 for Hoban.
Now trailing the match by a set, The Hawks were left in desperate need of a win in set two in an attempt to avoid falling behind two sets on the road. Hiland played with that aggression and intensity to start the second set, grabbing and building on a lead, The Hawks held a 9-2 advantage in the set after an early rally. However, as many times prior this season, The Knights battled back and kept it close. Hoban would eventually recapture a lead and win the close set battle 25-19 to ensure they held a big 2-0 advantage in the match!
That advantage gave The Knights all the momentum as they would utilize it to emphatically defeat Hiland 25-6 in set three for the straight set match win!
On her day, Sophia Day led Hoban in assists with 17 in the win. While the Watson’s were active once again! As Amber Watson recorded a team-high 10 kills and Kalie Watson led the team behind the service line in aces with 5. The Mintz combo also found plenty of production with Macie Mintz led Hoban in digs at 16 and Madison Mintz leading in service points with 14. Bailey Prince was, quite simply, a difference maker! Prince counteracted the height and talent of Troyer opposite of her and recorded a match high 7 blocks in the win!
Hoban (17-0) has now ended their home stint of the regular season and have looked unstoppable! They look to continue their string of success as they hit the road to do battle with The Marlington Dukes (18-2) on Thursday, October 5th. While Hiland (15-2) will look to get back on track when they welcome in conference foe Sandy Valley (10-7) on Tuesday, October 3rd. Interviews with Hoban’s Summara Keith, Bailey Price and Sophia Day as well as Knights Head Coach Jim Maloof and Assistant Hayley Bell can be found below!