The St. Henry Crusaders (5-1 overall) handed the Scott Eagles (9-1) their first loss of the season before both head to tournaments over the weekend.
St. Henry won the match, 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-12).
“I’m pleased with the way they started. But it was slow. We gave them the weekend off,” said Maureen Kaiser, St. Henry head coach. “Scott’s scrappy. We had nothing hit that wasn’t contested. We just have to learn to terminate balls and make the next ball better if we shank a ball. We didn’t really make the next ball better. We were satisfied. But that comes with time and age. We’re still growing as a team.”
St. Henry unofficially had 39 kills, 30 assists, eight blocks and six aces for the game. The Crusaders ran their 6-2 offense well getting a number of players involved starting with that first pass led by junior defensive specialist Elizabeth Tabeling. Tabeling had two aces.
Junior setters Audrey Leonhard and Macy Lentz recorded 13 and 11 assists, respectively. Junior Alivia Skidmore had 17 kills to go with two blocks.
“I feel like (versatility) makes it tougher (on opponents) because you never know if they’re stronger in one area or another. Audrey and I just power through,” Lentz said. “We’re kind of limited in numbers. So we just fill in what spots our team needed.”
Lentz showed her versatility with seven kills. Junior middle hitter Anna Guard had eight kills and three blocks. Senior Josie Schroder recorded six kills and two blocks.
“It was super important to kind of get up on the block,” Guard said. “Pressing your hands over the net was super important, but also trusting your teammates behind you that they’ll have your back. If you make a mistake, they’re there to fill the hole and try to get the ball up.”
Freshman hitter Paige VonEye come into the game in third game and recorded a team-high three aces.
The Eagles had some success when they made that first pass. Senior setter Audrey Griffin had 10 assists and eight digs with freshman Milyn Minor digging up nine balls to go with four kills.
Senior hitter Makaylah Mitchell had six kills. But the Eagles could not consistently set Mitchell and Minor.
Scott lead a couple times during the match. In the second game, the Eagles tied it 7-7 with a Mitchell kill and took an 8-7 lead when St. Henry hit the ball out of bounds. But after a timeout, the Crusaders ran off six straight before Griffin ended the run with a kill.
“This is a great match for us to be in. We’re playing the state champs and being able to hang on some plays,” said Andrea Sullivan, Scott head coach. “We made way too many mistakes and we sent too many free balls. We can’t send that many free balls against a team that can pound it. It’s something where we have to have better ball control out of serve-receive. We made some big defensive plays against some of their better hitters. But we couldn’t connect on some of them.”
Then in the third game, Scott ran off three straight points to go up 5-3 when sophomore Elise Manhardt had two aces and senior Lexi Rogers landed a kill. But after staying tied for several points, St. Henry took control scoring eight straight when VonEye landed three aces and Guard had two kills to go up 15-7.
St. Henry plays in the Nike Tournament of Champions in the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus at in Wesley Chapel located near Tampa, Florida. Kaiser said the Crusaders will play three games Friday then three more Saturday.
“We never sold candles. No athletic department money is being used for this,” Kaiser said. “We are strictly using the money from camps and clinics. All $11,000 is from the girls teaching the game they love. That’s what I think I’m most proud of. I hope we make a statement when we go there. But I also hope we grow, team bond and keep growing because that’s what I think helped us last year win that state tournament.”
Scott plays host to its own September Slam on Friday and Saturday. The Eagles open the round-robin part against Highlands (2-2) at 5 p.m. then Beechwood (2-3) at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Notre Dame 3, Conner 0
The Pandas (5-2) claimed a victory against the Cougars (6-4), winning 25-20, 25-20, 25-11.
Notre Dame displayed its usual versatility. But the Pandas knew they had to control the net against Conner’s two junior power hitters, Lilly Hamburg and Peyton Walker. Hamburg and Walker led Conner with 73 and 66 kills entering the match, which included all but one match.
“That was definitely something that took us a while to adjust,” said Leslie Litmer, Notre Dame head coach. “That’s just us being able to pick up on hitters in each rotation. We missed a lot of serves in the first two sets and then in the third set, we came into our own. We were able to get them out of system more. That just made it tougher for Conner to be able to feed their go-to players. Defensively, Conner worked hard and did a nice job keeping the ball in play.”
Senior libero Kamden Schrand led the Pandas with 11 digs. Schrand and senior defensive specialist Kayla Hostetler helped make those first passes to the setters in sophomore Lauren Ott and freshman Lizzie Larkins, who finished with 20 and 12 assists respectively. Sophomore hitter Riley McCloskey and senior Peyton Mast had 11 and 10 kills respectively for the Pandas.
“I think watching the hitter’s shoulders and hands has really helped me a lot,” said Kayla Hostetler, Notre Dame defensive specialist. “Usually, I watched where they lined up. (Walker and Hamburg) are tough to defend just because they have good game IQs. If they see you on one side, they see really quick where to hit when you are not there. That’s where they kept getting me. I would think I was there. Then they would move their hands and end up hitting it to the deep corner.”
Notre Dame travels to Louisville to take on the Mercy Jaguars (8-2) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Conner travels to Simon Kenton (0-5) on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Other Volleyball Scores
Newport Central Catholic 3 (25-13, 26-24, 18-25, 25-19), Calvary Christian 1
Bellevue 3 (18-25, 25-21, 8-25, 25-9, 15-12), Dayton 2
Highlands 3, Bishop Brossart 1
The Bluebirds (3-4-1) downed the Lady ‘Stangs (3-3-1) at the Mustang Athletic Complex.
Senior Anna Melson led Highlands with two goals including a penalty kick. Freshman Franny Smith scored her first career varsity goal and drew a foul in the box setting up Melson’s penalty kick score. Junior Lindsay Stein had an assist.
“I thought the girls played really, really well,” said Chris Norris, Highlands head coach. “They moved the ball. They were aggressive. They kept shooting and kept shooting. We kept crashing the box. Franny played the best game I’ve seen this year. It was a great team effort from them all.”
Brossart senior goalkeeper Lauren Gooderson had nine saves in the losing effort. Highlands senior goalkeeper Isabella Moreno had five saves.
“She’s a great goalie,” Smith said of Gooderson. “I think the rain kind of worked to my advantage. I think I might have slipped. But she saved lot of our team’s shots. I think my goal kind of just came from luck. I put it somewhere she wasn’t.”
Senior midfielder Jill Planeaux scored the lone goal for the Lady ‘Stangs and junior Avery Schaefer had the assist. Planeaux has three goals and Schaefer four assists this year.
Highlands plays host to Newport Central Catholic (3-5) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Brossart takes on Paris (2-3) in the opening round of the All “A” 10th Region Tournament on Saturday at 9 a.m. back at the MAC.
Simon Kenton 0, Beechwood 0
The Pioneers (6-1-3) and Tigers (5-2-1) settled for a draw after they both entered the game on five-game winning streaks.
Simon Kenton put a number of shots on target. But Beechwood senior goalkeeper Lynden Noll made 15 saves and Pioneer senior goalkeeper Olivia York had one.
Simon Kenton plays host to Cooper (5-2-1) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Beechwood travels to Holmes (1-6) on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Other Girls Soccer Scores:
Cooper 14, Immaculate Conception Academy (Norwood, Oh.) 0
St. Henry 10, Ludlow 0