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by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Hudson -- After a bit of a rough start, the Hudson girls volleyball team has picked it up in recent weeks.
Unfortunately for the Lady Explorers, they simply ran into a buzzsaw Sept. 17.
Hudson fell to 4-6 on the season after losing to Avon 25-12, 25-16, 25-16 at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.
The Lady Explorers stayed with the talented Lady Eagles, who improved to 10-0 on the season, during the early portions of each set.
But Avon simply had another gear down the stretch of each of those sets to run away.
"Avon is a very good team," Hudson first-year head coach Brad Disandis said. "They have several high-level JO [Junior Olympic] players. They have a lot of experience."
At one point in the first set, the match was tied at 10. And then, just like that, the Lady Eagles took over.
Avon won 14 straight points to get to set point. Sophomore setter Maddy Jerdonek was the main catalyst during the Lady Eagles' run with 13 consecutive service points.
In the second set, the match was tied at nine. Once again, Avon, using a bit more methodical approach, gained some distance on the scoreboard.
The Lady Eagles went on a 10-3 spurt to take a 19-12 advantage after a kill by sophomore middle hitter/right-side hitter Sydney Stone.
The third set was more of the same.
The Lady Explorers tied the match at 10 on a kill by sophomore right-side hitter Cami Madar.
But Avon responded with an 8-1 run that was capped by a kill from sophomore outside hitter/middle hitter Gillian Romanchok.
Like the first two sets, Hudson didn't recover.
"I thought we played well until the middle of each set," Brad Disandis said. "After that, we completely fell apart.
"We lose three or four points in a row and we lose our mental focus. Something bad happens, we can't seem to find a way to get out of it, especially against the better teams."
Stone and senior outside hitter Hallie Schroeder each had 11 kills for the Lady Eagles.
Romanchok added nine kills for Avon.
Jerdonek contributed 22 assists for the Lady Eagles and teammate Erin Gardner, a junior defensive specialist, finished with 16 digs.
Sophomore libero Kendall Mackay had 40 digs for the Lady Explorers and teammate Maddie Gaeta, a junior defensive specialist, finished with 25 digs.
Freshman defensive specialist Amelia Hoffmeier and junior defensive specialist Nina Disandis added 19 and nine digs, respectively, for Hudson.
Junior outside hitter Dani Turner led the Lady Explorers' front row with nine kills and teammate Alena Madar, a senior middle hitter, contributed four kills.
Hudson lost to Suburban League National Conference rival Wadsworth 25-23, 22-25, 25-15, 25-21 Sept. 15 on the road.
With the loss, the Lady Explorers fell to 2-4 in the National Conference.
"We were tied at 21 in three of the four sets," Brad Disandis said. "We have to learn how to finish."
Turner led Hudson with 13 kills and 12 service points and Madar had nine kills and four blocks.
Madison Topczewski contributed six kills and Mackay, who led the conference in digs as of press time, had 56 digs and 14 service points, including five aces.
Also contributing for the Lady Explorers were Nina Disandis (12 digs and seven service points, including two aces) and Lorenza Chiarappa (26 assists).
Hudson was scheduled to visit National Conference foe Brecksville-Broadview Heights Sept. 20. Results were not available at press time.
The Lady Explorers are set to entertain National Conference rival Nordonia Sept. 22 at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium. Play is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.