After a rough first half of the season, the Streetsboro volleyball team seemed to find its footing in the Portage Trail Conference County Division.
On Sept. 17, the host Rockets scored a 25-9, 25-22, 25-23 victory over Waterloo Sept. 17.
Streetsboro then followed it up with a 25-17, 25-23, 25-23 victory home win over Rootstown Sept. 19, avenging a straight-sets loss to the Rovers from earlier this season.
However, the Rockets came down to earth Sept. 21 at the Chagrin Falls Invitational. The Rockets went 1-2 at the tournament and settled for sixth place.
Chagrin Falls defeated the Rockets 29-27, 25-8 in the opening match.
But Streetsboro rebounded with a 25-16, 25-23 win over Woodridge.
In the fifth-place match, Streetsboro dropped a 25-21, 25-14 decision to Twinsburg. As of press time, the Rockets' record stood at 6-8 overall and 4-3 in the County Division.
Against Waterloo, Kristen MacMillen had a solid two-way match with 10 kills and 13 digs.
Whitney Poston finished with nine kills for the Rockets. Sydney Campbell added six kills for Streetsboro, which earned a 25-17, 25-16 win in the junior varsity contest.
Also contributing for the Rockets were Taylor Hillyer (13 points, two aces and 19 digs), Gabby Reznik-Duffer (11 points), Miranda Vasko (10 points, three aces and four kills), Alycia Scalia (19 assists) and Natalie Schneider (13 digs).
Streetsboro head coach Bill Smerglia said his team caught the Vikings in a down year.
"Waterloo, surprisingly, is not where they've been in the past," Smerglia said. "They're going through the development process to get where they used to be."
When his team hosted Rootstown, Smerglia said his team had a serious revenge motive, after getting swept by the Rovers in the season opener.
"We played a pretty terrible match in the first match of the year," Smerglia said. "They were pumped up and they were ready. They put it all together. They just played a very complete match against Rootstown and played very well."
Against the Rovers, senior middle hitter Paige Saunders had 12 kills and one block and Scalia had 15 service points, including three aces, and 31 assists to lead Streetsboro.
Also contributing for the Rockets were MacMillen (eight points and 11 digs), Miranda Vasko (seven kills, five points and two aces), Hillyer (11 digs, eight points and one block) and Reznik-Duffer (18 digs).
Streetsboro earned a 25-8, 25-10 win in the JV contest.
Smerglia said the match with Chagrin Falls saw his team expend all its energy in a wild first set.
"It was definitely a tightly contested set," Smerglia said. "I thought we should have won it. Typical of those kind of sets when you put everything into it and you don't win it, the momentum goes away. We kind of fell apart in the second set."
Smerglia said getting past Woodridge was "not a problem," but noted he knew Twinsburg's top player very well.
"Mackenzie Harrison is a pretty exceptional player," Smerglia said. "She played with me during the club season. They had some good complementary players as well. They're just a good, well-rounded team."
Harrison hit the Rockets for nine kills, two block and nine digs.
Reznik-Duffer led Streetsboro in the tournament with 14 service points, three aces and 22 digs, while Vasko added 10 service points, six kills and 13 digs.
Hillyer was all over the court with nine points, three aces, nine kills, two blocks and 16 digs, while Saunders led the Rockets with 18 kills and three blocks.
MacMillen added seven kills and 12 digs, while Scalia finished with 43 assists.
The Rockets were set to host County Division rival Southeast Sept. 24. Results were not available at press time.
Streetsboro is scheduled to visit County Division foes Mogadore Sept. 26 and Woodridge Oct. 1. Both varsity matches are set to begin at 7 p.m.