by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Hudson -- They were less experienced and significantly shorter than their opponents.
In other words, it was a long evening for the Lady Black Tigers.
The Hudson volleyball team improved to 7-2 overall and 2-0 in the Northeast Ohio Conference Lake Division after posting a convincing 25-16, 25-17, 25-8 victory over Cuyahoga Falls Sept. 10 at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.
The Lady Explorers (7-2, 2-0), who had a significant height advantage in the front row, put balls away at will throughout the match.
The Lady Black Tigers, on the other hand, committed a bevy of unforced errors and struggled with their confidence.
Each varsity player saw some action as Hudson rolled to its fourth consecutive victory.
"We are doing things well," Lady Explorers head coach Jessica Ciborek said. "We have been pushing them in practice.
"We have been working on drills where we're in situations when were up and we're trying to put the game away. We also have been working on situations where we're down and we're trying to come back."
Hudson didn't have to showcase its ability to rally in this contest.
The Lady Explorers scored 13 of the first 16 points of the match and we're up 22-9 in the first set.
But the pesky Falls' players put up an admirable fight to hang with their more talented opponents.
The Lady Black Tigers scored seven of the next eight points to trim Hudson's advantage to 23-16.
However, the Lady Explorers won the next two points to close the deal.
Falls played, perhaps, its best sequence of the match early in the second set.
The Lady Black Tigers, thanks to a block and a tip by Emma Freeman, took an 8-3 advantage.
Middle hitter Krissy Mummey finally got Hudson back on serve with a thunderous kill.
Mummey's kill allowed teammate Celia Cristofoli to take the ball behind the service line.
And just like that, the momentum did a 180-degree swing.
Cristofoli served two consecutive aces and won six straight points on her serve.
Falls (2-5, 0-2) managed to fight its way back to a 13-13 tie, but the Lady Explorers regained control with a 7-0 run.
"Our girls do a lot of good things," Lady Black Tigers head coach Josh Stewart said. "It's just lack of confidence. We would do some nice things and then we would give up that one run."
Hudson went on a 13-1 flurry to take a 14-3 advantage in the third set and never looked back.
While the match was never in doubt, Ciborek was impressed with Falls' resilience.
"We had some of our subs in the first set and they should have been able to shut it down," she said. "But Falls played well. They play a different style than some of the teams we play, so it was nice to get a different kind of win."
Mummey had her way at the net throughout the evening.
She finished with nine kills and four blocks.
"Krissy played for a club-level team during the off-season," Ciborek said. "She is playing at a high level and continues to improve."
Celia Cristofoli added six kills and three aces for the Lady Explorers.
Also contributing for Hudson were Jordan Mackay (18 service points), Maddie Przybocki (16 points), Gina Holland (19 digs) and Alyssa DiSandis (24 assists).
Shelby Dieterich led the Lady Black Tigers with seven kills and Brooke Crawford had two blocks. Karly Slone added 13 assists and Hannah Shane had 14 digs.
"That is one of the best teams we'll see all year," Stewart said. "But we can't make them look like one of the best teams we'll see. They [the Lady Explorers] don't have many holes, but they do have holes."
Hudson is scheduled to entertain Lake Division rival Mentor Sept. 12 before heading to Uniontown Lake for the Asics Invitational Sept. 14. Results of those matches were not available at press time.
The Lady Explorers are set to visit Lake Division foe Stow-Munroe Falls Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. before returning home to play Lake Division rival Twinsburg Sept. 19 at 6:30 p.m.