BRUNSWICK — Senior middle hitter Anna Krizsa stole the show in the latest edition of Medina County’s most intense volleyball rivalry.
Krizsa amassed career- and match-highs of 20 kills and eight blocks Thursday, leading Brunswick to a 25-20, 25-12, 22-25, 25-11 victory over Medina in Greater Cleveland Conference play.
The fourth-year varsity contributor had 10 kills over the first two games and 10 more over the final two as the Blue Devils (3-0, 2-0) remained perfect on the young season.
“I was feeling it tonight, I guess,” Krizsa said. “We wanted this win more than anything, and I’m so happy we played this well as a team and were able to get it.”
Outside hitter Kirsten Badowski had 18 kills and four rejections, Annie Cupach dished out 40 assists and fellow senior Rachael Crucis added 22 digs for Brunswick, which defeated the Bees for the 12th time in 13 meetings since 2014.
The Blue Devils also received 12 service points and three aces from Taylor Calarco, five kills from Emily Richardson and four kills from Cassie Burson. They took 2-0 leads — and never trailed — in the first, third and fourth games.
“Anna Krizsa was the difference tonight,” Medina coach Joe Ortenzi said. “She kept us uneasy because she was so effective on hard-cut slides and tips and blocking. Rachael Crucis was out of this world again and we knew Kirsten was going to get her 15 to 18 kills, but Anna just had her way with us.”
Senior Ashley Dwyer paced the Bees (4-4, 1-1) with 21 assists and had four kills and three blocks. Sophomore Sarah Smith and senior Stephanie Flamik shared team-high honors with eight kills, while sophomore Desiree Schafer had seven kills and seven blocks with just one error.
In the third, Medina went in front for good at 16-15 on back-to-back aces from junior libero Casey Coughlin, who made her initial varsity start. Dwyer and Flamik later had a double-block on the right side that swung momentum fully the Bees’ way.
“Ashley is always a superstar because she really works hard to be the best she can be,” Crucis said. “Everyone saw that tonight, and I’m used to seeing it because we’ve played JO together for years.”
While Medina struggled to make accurate passes for half of the match, the Blue Devils’ back row was on point throughout. Crucis, Camdyn Futchko and Badowski repeatedly put the ball where Cupach wanted it, allowing her to run crisp, smart sets.
Cupach also found holes in the defense with three kills and two aces.
“My teammates make me look good, they really do,” she said. “Medina put up a fight and made us work, but we stayed together, played hard and came away with the win.”
Next up for Brunswick is another intracounty contest Saturday. They travel to Wadsworth for a triangular with Amherst Steele, hoping to avenge their five-game loss to the Grizzlies in the 2017 Strongsville Division I District championship.
No one wearing blue and white needed to be reminded of the schedule.
“We’re excited and we’re ready,” Cupach said.
Contact Brian Dulik at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @BrianDulik on Twitter.