Kent Roosevelt's volleyball team is big, mean, and hits the ball extremely hard.
The Rough Riders are also 4-0 in the Metro Division now, following a 25-16, 25-13, 25-17 sweep on Thursday evening over division rival Field.
"Having size sure helps," Roosevelt head coach Tracy Reschke joked. "You can't teach size."
Roosevelt looked every bit the frontrunner for the Metro Division title on Thursday, as big frontline players like Cortnee Bowser and Sophi Cudworth made life difficult for the Falcons' defenders.
Bowser -- a senior captain -- and the sophomore Cudworth, younger sister of 2012 PTC Metro Division Player of the Year Alli Cudworth, combined for 25 kills on the evening, with most of their attempts striking the court with a significant amount of force.
Field head coach Brenda Ward said that, given the mismatch her girls faced on the front line, she felt like she got a good effort out of her girls.
"We were able to get some blocks in on Bowser, which was a good surprise," Ward said. "Given our size disadvantage, I thought we were able to give (Roosevelt) a fight and that's the most I can really ask of the girls."
Roosevelt trailed just once the entire evening, grabbing early leads and not letting up on the gas against their Metro Division rivals.
The opening set saw Roosevelt take a 10-5 lead and turn it into a commanding 15-7 edge with junior Angie Volchko serving. Two serve points by Volchko and a pair of Field return errors helped the Rough Riders build a comfortable lead and allowed their bigs to hammer away.
Up 20-12 later in the set, Bowser pounded down two kills, while Cudworth and senior Hayley Chlad each added one before a Cudworth tip sealed the 25-16 victory.
The second set was much of the same for the Falcons who, after taking an early 2-0 lead, proceeded to give up an 8-1 run to the Rough Riders. Katelyn Gonos recorded a serve point, Chlad had a block, while Bowser recorded a kill during the rally.
Roosevelt ballooned its lead to 22-9 on plays by Cudworth, senior captain Mylane Bella-Smuts and Gonos. The Falcons attempted a mini rally with points by Logan Kruse and Camille Adelman, but a Chlad tip at the net put Roosevelt over the top for a 25-13 win.
Field saved maybe its best for last, battling Roosevelt during the early half of the third set. The Falcons recovered from a pair of early Bowser kills to tie the score at 5-5. Adelman recorded a kill, while Roosevelt committed a handful of errors to give free points to the Falcons.
As it had all evening, though, Roosevelt rebounded and was able to pull away on the strength of its bigs. Gonos and Bowser recorded a number of big plays to create distance on the scoreboard from Field before a point by junior captain Emily Slattery sealed the deal for a 25-17 set -- and match -- victory.
Bowser was the clear standout on the evening, recording 17 blocks and four kills. Cudworth added eight kills, while Slattery recorded eight digs to go along with 17 points. Bella-Smuts did a solid job setting and facilitating the offence with a team-high 19 assists.
If its front line was not enough, this year's Riders feature more depth than in previous years. Reschke said that she is comfortable working in a rotation of 12 varsity players, as well as a handful of JV athletes, because of the skill level her group has displayed.
"We really are able to make a team with a lot of different lineups," Reschke said. "If one of our girls is off on a night, it's not as big of a deal (as in previous years). We can switch that player out because we have a group that is versatile and can do a number of things for us."
Camille Adelman recorded four kills to go along with one assist and four digs for the Falcons. Kruse added five kills, two aces and three blocks in a losing effort.
Reschke said that her girls are taking every game like its the last following an early exit in the Division I postseason to nearby rival Stow last year, a potential bad sign for the rest of the Metro Division.
"There are always going to be things we can work on to improve, and the girls know that," Reschke said. "This group is just never satisfied, and they are a bunch who wants to get better each time they play. They want to go far (this season), and they're not going to be satisfied until they do that."