When junior Nora Chernosky and sophomore Cadence Shea get clicking on the court for the Magnificat volleyball team, there’s little any other team can do to stop them.
That was again the case Aug. 26 at home against in-town rival Rocky River. In almost methodical fashion Chernosky lined the ball up and Shea knocked it down, enroute to a straight-set victory (25-9, 25-10, 25-11).
Chernosky assisted Shea on 12 of her 14 kills and racked up 33 total assists. In one stretch in the second set, the two paired up for three of four-consecutive Blue Streak points, forcing an early Rocky River timeout.
The two agreed that the hard work and repetitions in practice leading up to the game translated to their success.
“We’ve been working with Nora on running the middles a little more efficiently, so that’s why she forced the middle so much and then it just clicked. They did really well,” Magnificat coach Jess Ciborek said.
Outside of Shea and Chernosky, the Blue Streaks (5-1) were paced by Ava Montgomery (10 kills, two blocks), Abbey Havrilla (16 digs, one ace) and Emma Jester (11 digs).
Rocky River coach Karlee Bruck admitted that, after graduating six seniors last season, there were going to be some growing pains this year and that she didn’t want her team focusing on the score, but rather continuing to fight for every point.
Against a talent-laden team like Magnificat, though, those youthful miscues and confusion were immediately capitalized on and the Blue Streaks took the first two sets with ease. The Pirates (1-3, 1-1 Great Lakes Conference) led just four times throughout the game, all coming in the early points of the second and third sets.
“There was never a point in the game where they gave up,” Bruck said. “We took every ball seriously and I think we got an incredible amount of experience today, which is only going to help us going into another big rival (Holy Name) tomorrow and through the rest of the season. I know the score doesn’t seem like it, but I feel like we played extremely well tonight.”
In the third set, the Pirates, led by seniors Amanda Franz and Emily Stanciu, had more competitive rallies and kept the Magnificat lead to just four at multiple points. Despite that effort, the Blue Streaks’ power up front was too much for River and Magnificat closed out the set and match with four consecutive points.
Playing in front of a home crowd that was cheering and singing all game long, Shea said that atmosphere gives them a big confidence boost and a game like this will go far in propelling them through early-season matchups.
“I feel like it really brings Mags volleyball and the whole Magnificat community together,” Shea said. “It really shows how powerful we can be.”
After squaring off against Padua on the road Thursday, the Blue Streaks head home tonight to take on Gilmour Academy at 6:30, travel to Walsh Jesuit on Saturday and St. Joseph Academy on Tuesday.
Rocky River continues their stretch of Great Lakes Conference teams this week after playing Holy Name Aug. 27 and Bay yesterday. The Pirates play Elyria Catholic tomorrow night and have a week off before traveling to Normandy on Sept. 12.
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