OLMSTED FALLS — Julie Bendzuck knew all too well what her Avon Eagles were going to face Thursday night.
And she had them ready to go.
The Eagles won a battle of unbeaten, state-ranked teams in a hostile environment, sweeping past Olmsted Falls 25-19, 25-19, 25-15 to grab early control of the Southwestern Conference. The defending league champion Eagles, ranked 15th in the state in Division I, improved to 9-0, 8-0 in the SWC.
“I played here and went through this program,” Bendzuck said of her alma mater. “I just know how respected it is because of the tradition that they have as Olmsted Falls volleyball. I like to remember what that felt like to be a Bulldog, and I could prepare the kids for the type of things they can expect — loud fans, intense players, a full gym — something that we don’t always have. Definitely emotional, but I also think that it’s exciting.”
The Eagles might have had a little chip their shoulders since Falls came into the match ranked 10th in the state.
“I think this group’s special,” Bendzuck said of her team. “A lot of them, it’s their first year on varsity and it’s their first time in a big role on our team. If I could sum up (the match), I’m just proud of them.”
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