A strong regular season finish was critical for the Twinsburg volleyball team and its chances in the postseason.
Thanks to a 3-0 win at Cuyahoga Falls Oct. 13, the Tigers finished the regular season 7-15 overall and 4-10 in the tough Suburban League National Conference.
Twinsburg earned the sixth seed in the 13-team field at the Solon Division I district tournament.
Head coach Tonia Brennen has guided the Lady Tigers to three straight sectional titles and as many district berths
In first round action, the Tigers will play Rhodes Oct. 19. The match will begin 20 minutes after the Maple Heights-John Adams contest at 6 p.m.
Twinsburg will play in a sectional final Oct. 22 against the Maple-Adams winner. That game will start 20 minutes after the 3 p.m. sectional final at Solon. Brecksville is the likely winner of the top bracket.
"I think we are in an excellent spot in the bracket to make it back to the district semis," said Brennen.
The district semis at Solon are set for Oct. 26 at 6 p.m.
A young squad, the Lady Tigers have a golden opportunity to reach districts.
"We played Maple Height on at the Mayfield Invitational (Oct. 8) and lost, but we were down a few key players," stressed the coach. "I expect us to come out playing hard and aggressive against both teams."
Tradition means a lot to Brennen.
"We want to continue our streak of making it to the district semi's and we will most likely face Brecksville then, which will be tough to beat," she said. "Everyone is now healthy at this point in the season. We plan to stick to what we do best and play hard."
Junior setter Cassidy Liotta has improved and has been a big key with her handwork, setting, and defense.
Our serve receive continues to be strong, our offense is getting quicker, and everyone is playing a part in the offense," noted the coach. "Cassidy is making great decisions and learning her hitters and moving the ball, making it more difficult on opposing teams to defend."
"Our middles, [junior blockers] Camari Griffin and Annaiaya Ruffin our working hard to be active offensively and our outsides Bella Varga and Simone Gest (sophomore) continue to be solid on the outside putting balls away," added Brennen.
Senior four-year standout libero Marie Piccone and Varga were the lone returning starters from 2015.
Right side/middle blocker Jenna Ames is a senior along with defensive specialist Shelbi Netzband.
Brennen then went on about her small, but impactful senior class.
"Senior night was truly special and we have three great seniors, Marie, Shelbi, and Jenna, that have emerged as great leaders this year," she said. "They are just upstanding girls that do everything you ask."
Twinsburg beat Falls 25-21, 25-22, 25-20.
Gest posted 13 kills while Varga had nine kills and two aces.
Ames had five blocks and three aces as Ruffin also had five blocks.
Piccone had 15 digs while Liotta had 24 aces and 13 digs.
Twinsburg's junior varsity team finished 14-7.