The KHSAA volleyball state championship final is slated for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Bellarmine, but a quarterfinal match eight hours prior may well determine the 2011 champion.
Barring a first-round upset, 11:30 a.m. is when No. 1 Assumption and No. 3 Mercy will meet in the round of eight.
The Rockets (39-1) are seeking their 16th title in 20 years, but the trip to the tournament was no cakewalk. They first had to get past a tough Sacred Heart squad in last Thursday’s Region Seven final.
After taking the opening set 25-22, Assumption trailed for most of the second before eking out a 31-29 win. The Valkyries had set-point on four occasions, but could not extend the match to three sets.
Assumption coach Ron Kordes said his squad played “tight,” but he was satisfied with the result.
“I was so impressed with the team for being able to get out of game two,” he said. “We had so many opportunities to lose that game and…I think they showed a little bit of their toughness that night and found a way to win.”
Mercy reached the state tournament for the second straight year after routing Holy Cross in the Region Six final 25-8, 25-19.
Assumption will face Owensboro Catholic (20-15) at 4:45 p.m. Friday in the first round, while Mercy (28-11) takes on No. 6 Henry Clay (31-8) at 3:30 p.m.
Only 16 teams remained as boys’ and girls’ sub-sectional matches commenced earlier this week. State finals for both will be played at Paul Dunbar High School in Lexington on November 5. Here is how Louisville-area teams fared in regional play:
Neil Henley’s fourth hat trick of the season lifted top-ranked St. Xavier over No. 7 Male 3-1 in last Thursday’s Sixth Region final at St. X.
The senior forward, who hung three goals against St. Francis, Highlands and DeSales already this season, scored his first goal just 1:15 into the match.
After breaking free in the final third, Henley was initially denied by Bulldogs keeper Lee Lewis, but gathered the ball and deposited it from a sharp angle on the left side of the goal.
With 4:46 left in the first half Henley gave the Tigers a 2-0 bulge when he sent a curling left-footed shot from 18 yards out into the upper-left corner of the goal.
Another Henley strike with 29:41 left to play made it 3-0. A St. X handball two minutes later gave Male a penalty kick and Amar Sejdic converted to make it 3-1.
The win extended the Tigers’ streak to 22 games.
On a chilly, wet evening at Trinity’s Marshall Stadium last Wednesday, No. 11 Collegiate (15-5-2) got second-half goals from Kennedy Kommor and Ethan Perellis to take down No. 5 Trinity 2-1 for the second straight year in the Seventh Region final.
It was the third meeting between the teams this season and Collegiate’s first win. The Rocks (21-3) handed the Titans a 2-1 overtime defeat early in the season and beat them 5-0 in the District 23 final a week prior.
After a scoreless first half, it took a perfect strike from Kommor to break the deadlock in the 53rd minute. The goal came when a throw-in from Collegiate’s Ryan Perry was cleared to the top of Trinity’s box. Kommor was waiting there and volleyed the ball in midair from 16 yards out, sending it past Rocks goalkeeper Chris Hubbard and into the upper-right corner of the netting. It was Kommor’s fourth goal of the season.
Ethan Perellis iced the match three minutes later when he deposited a loose ball at the back post to give the Titans a 2-0 edge.
No. 13 Oldham County (15-6-4) won its seventh regional title in eight years by knocking off No. 6 Ballard (14-7-3) in a shootout.
Cameron Bryant scored the Colonels’ lone goal in regulation and converted the decisive penalty kick in the shootout as well.
Trailing 1-0 in the 79th minute, Ballard’s Caleb Cabazas forced overtime when he nodded in a corner kick from Ben Ahmetagic.
After a scoreless ten-minute overtime period, the game went to penalties. Colonels goalkeeper Evan Gallagher made a crucial save and Jared Kemper, T.J. Shuyler and Bryant all converted their kicks to give Oldham County the win.
Male (13-10) got a goal from junior Kristina Daub with just 3:30 remaining to edge host Manual in the Sixth Region championship game. The win avenged two previous losses to the Crimsons (8-12) this season.
Sacred Heart senior forward Sara Herbert tallied two second-half goals and the No. 12 Valkyries (10-10-3) overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to knock off host and fifth-ranked Assumption 2-1 in the Seventh Region final.
No. 20 Christian Academy defeated No. 25 Oldham County 2-1 in a shootout to claim its second straight Eighth Region title. Sophomore Haley Kemper put the host Colonels (14-7-1) up 1-0 at the beginning of the second half when she collected a rebounded shot and put it in the back of the net.
Kenzie Dannelly found the goal for the Centurions with 8:48 left to play and the score held through regulation and ten minutes of overtime as well.
Dannelly, Taylor Smith and Clair Andres all converted their kicks to give Christian Academy the win in the shootout.
State tournament play began last Saturday with quarterfinals at Bellarmine. Manual, Mercy, Assumption and defending champion Sacred Heart advanced to semifinal play.
Winners of the Manual-Mercy and Sacred Heart-Assumption semifinal matchups (played Monday) will face-off at Bellarmine in the championship game at 7 p.m. this Thursday (10/27).
Contact columnist Chris Cahill at email@example.com.
Category: High School Sports Report