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Stow-Munroe Falls volleyball has made a habit of winning marathon matches this season.
Cuyahoga Falls has shown the ability to play well, even in losing efforts.
Unfortunately for Falls, both trends were snapped Sept. 13 at the James G. Tyree Gymnasium, as Stow made quick work of its backyard rival, winning 25-15, 25-12, 25-17.
It was a successful end to the busiest part of Stow's schedule, as the Bulldogs were playing their fifth game in a four-day span.
The Bulldogs participated in the Lancer Invitational at Gilmour Academy. Stow opened with a 25-20, 25-16 win over Apple Creek Waynedale, but then lost 25-14, 25-18 to Gilmour. The Bulldogs then lost 25-21, 25-14 to Huron in the final game of the day.
On Sept. 12, Stow traveled to St. Vincent-St. Mary. Although all three sets were tight, Stow scored the win in straight sets 25-21, 26-24, 25-23.
Stow improved to 9-3, 5-1 in the Suburban League National Conference.
Bulldogs coach Miguel Ramirez lauded his young team for staying focused during the heavy schedule.
"They started out well," Ramirez said. "We had a tough couple of days, dealing with all those games, AP classes and half the school being sick."
Ramirez also noted Stow was without senior captain Lauren Turschak at Gilmour, as she was taking her ACT exam.
The Bulldogs didn't look fatigued early. Outside hitters Julia DiPaola and Lizzy Stefanov led the charge for Stow against the Black Tigers' front line.
Falls, meanwhile, committed a bunch of hitting errors in the first set. Stow led by as many as 17-6 in set one.
Turschak sealed the first set with a kill off a Falls' block attempt.
Set two was more competitive early, until Stefanov was able to run off seven straight service points to make it 21-10.
Falls wasn't able to recover from the run. A hitting error from Falls senior Emma Freeman gave Stow the second set.
"DiPaola and Stefanov are as good as any hitters we'll see this year," Stewart said.
Falls came out firing in set three, as Hannah Mertens put down some early kills. However, Stow came back to tie the set at 5-5.
It was nip-and-tuck through the middle of the set, which was tied at 16-16.
However, Stow sophomore Claire O'Verko got the serve with the Bulldogs up 19-17 and took it home. O'Verko scored four aces, including on match point, to close it out.
"We take pride in our serving," Ramirez said. "That's something we practice every day. O'Verko's always had a strong arm for serving. I think it's because of all that softball she plays."
Stefanov led Stow with 11 kills, while libero Alyssa Tallarico had 12 digs and setter Lauren Fair had 11 assists.
Falls was led by six kills from Freeman, 13 assists by setter Rebecca Postlewaite and 18 digs from libero Morgan Frame.
Against St. Vincent-St. Mary, Stow was led by nine kills from DiPaola, 21 digs from Tallarico and 13 assists from Fair.
Stow was set to face its biggest test of the year Sept. 15 when it hosted state-ranked Brecksville-Broadview Heights, but results were not available at press time.
The Bulldogs face a pair of tough rough matches this week. Stow travels to North Royalton Sept. 20 and Wadsworth Sept. 22. Varsity match time is set for 7 p.m.