No. 10 Wildcats run into buzzsaw with perfect Tuscarawas Valley

JUMPING — Edison’s Allison Crawford attempts a kill during a Division III district semifinal match against Tuscarawas Valley on Wednesday. -- Seth Staskey

CAMBRIDGE — Quite simply, Edison ran into a volleyball buzzsaw Wednesday evening inside the Gene Ford Gymnasium at Cambridge High School.

And it came in the form of Tuscarawas Valley. As they’ve done to their prior 24 opponents, the Trojans took no prisoners.

Tusky Valley — the state’s No. 1 ranked team in Division III — made it 25-0 and moved one step closer to a return trip to the state volleyball tournament by knocking off the Wildcats 25-6, 25-8, 25-12 in an economical 42-minute match in a Division III district semifinal.

While the Trojans are preparing for Saturday’s district championship game, the Wildcats see their season come to an end with a 12-13 record.

“We knew they were going to be a very, very tough team and very strong,” Edison head coach Mycaela Ensell said. “We just couldn’t put all the pieces together. We played our hearts out, though.”

Tusky Valley, which hasn’t lost a set this season, took control early and never once let back. Other than a brief stint in the third game, the Wildcats never led a set. Most of the Trojans’ damage was done by senior hitters Alexis Gilland and Abbigail Gillson. Standing 5-10 and 6-0, respectively, the Trojans’ front-row duo brought their spikes with force throughout the duration of the match.

“They come full force, and there is no backing down from that,” Ensell said.

Though there were plenty of red eyes coming out of the Wildcats’ locker room, Stewart looks back at the season fondly.

“We started out slowly as we tried to put all of our pieces together,” Stewart said. “We built our team back up, so as the (season) progressed, we really came on as a team. I am very, very proud of this group.”

Senior Kayla Huff led the Wildcats on the stat sheet with four blocks, three digs and seven assists. Sophomore Briana Crawford had five digs and seven hits, while sophomore Alli Grimes had seven assists. Senior McKenzie Morrison contributed two kills and seven hits.

Along with Huff and Morrison, others who played their final game for the Wildcats included Frankie Russell, Kiersten Long, Logan Perry and Allison Crawford.

“Those six seniors will be tough to replace and there will be a lot of big shoes to fill, but we’re going to try to build our team up,” Ensell said.

Edison, the No. 10 seed in the tournament, upset two squads to win a sectional title. The Wildcats stunned No. 5 Harrison in four sets before shocking No. 8 Ridgewood, also in four set, to advance.