A long day of tournament play came to a quick end as Assumption High School clinically dispatched Greenwood to win their second straight state volleyball title Saturday night at Bellarmine’s Knights Hall.
On Friday the Rockets (43-1) topped Owensboro Catholic (25-8, 25-11) then whipped Henry Clay (25-8, 25-17) and Notre Dame (25-14, 25-20) Saturday before dismissing the Lady Gators 25-13, 25-18 to claim their 16th title in 20 years.
“It’s an emotional tournament,” said senior setter Katie George. “Coming in here and being able to take care of business was something that we focused on and I think we executed well.”
The U of L commit was named tournament MVP after finishing with five kills, 53 assists and seven service aces in the tournament.
Six-foot-three junior middle Taylor Paulson led the Rockets against Greenwood with eight kills on nine attempts, including four kills in the first six points of the match.
Also dominating in the middle were six-foot-three sophomore Lauren Tutwiler (4 kills) and senior Dallas Zimmerman (3 kills).
“We said at the beginning of the year, we’ll probably go as far as our middles take us…and they were great tonight,” said coach Ron Kordes, who completed his 24th season at the helm. “We did things by committee. Where someone let up a little bit, someone picked up.”
A much anticipated quarterfinal matchup between Assumption and No. 3 Mercy never materialized as the Jaguars (29-12) fell to Henry Clay 25-15, 25-22 in a shocking first-round upset.
In the end Kordes believed it was team chemistry that carried his squad.
“You put fifteen teenage girls together and you’ve got no drama. There’s something good about that,” he said. “They’ve supported each other and played for each other. I’m proud of them.”
National Title Aspirations?
Although Assumption, ranked No. 3 in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com, is still theoretically in the running for a fifth national title, the odds of ascension are slim as No. 2 Papillion La Vista South (Neb.) and top-ranked Lake Travis (Texas) are overwhelming favorites to win their respective state titles.
A final poll will be released Dec. 8 at the conclusion of the California state tournament.
Sophomore DuFour carries Manual to field hockey win
Bold tactical adjustments and a breakout performance from sophomore Anna DuFour carried Manual to a 2-1 win against Sacred Heart in the field hockey state championship game last Thursday at Bellarmine’s Owsley B. Frazier Stadium.
After losing to the Valkyries 8-1 in the regular season, second-year Manual head coach Brittany Tolan decided that a formation overhaul was her squad’s only hope to topple the defending state champs.
“At practice on Tuesday and Wednesday, we added a defender and changed our system completely,” said Tolan. “We had nothing to lose.”
The change meant Tolan’s squad would absorb pressure in their defensive end, but might have a chance to win a low-scoring game.
After a scoreless first half Manual took the lead on a DuFour strike with 25:02 left. Sacred Heart’s Hadleigh Frank equalized with 11:20 remaining, but just four minutes later DuFour knocked another shot past Sacred Heart goalkeeper Maddi Elliott to cap the scoring.
It was the first title for the Crimsons (25-5-1) and was Sacred Heart’s (22-2-1) first loss to an in-state opponent this season.
“Beating Sacred Heart and winning State in one game is a dream come true for our kids,” said Tolan. “We were definitely the underdogs but we knew we had a shot.”
Miss Field Hockey – Mallory Tyler, Sr., Collegiate
Bunny Daughtery Defensive Player of the Year – Sadie Reynolds, Sr., Ballard
Rachel Caroline Baker Sportsmanship Award – Shea Jennings, Sr., Manual
Coach of the Year – Brittany Tolan, Manual
Valkyries top Male High in soccer
Sacred Heart got two goals apiece from Caroline Wistrom and Eleanor Gabriel and routed Male 6-1 in the Section Two final last Thursday night at Male.
Gabriel and seniors Emily Epley and Mary Kate Schmidt all scored in the first half, giving the Valkyries a 3-1 halftime bulge. The Bulldogs’ lone goal came off a Mallory Dunn free kick with 12:30 left in the first half.
Wistrom notched both of her goals in the second half and Gabriel added another to pull away from Male (15-11).
State at Dunbar
Sacred Heart (12-10-3) earned its fourth trip to the semifinals in five years and will take on Bowling Green (19-3-2) at 6 p.m. Thursday at Paul Dunbar.
West Jessamine (19-6-2) and Notre Dame (22-3-0) play at 8 p.m. in the other semifinal.
On the boys’ side, St. Xavier registered three second-half goals to beat Collegiate 4-1 last Wednesday in the Section Two final at the Assumption Green.
Tied 1-1 after the first forty-minute half, the Tigers (25-1-1) got goals from Gabe Stewart, Mitchell Metzger and Drew Hillebrand to seal the win. Kaelon Fox of St. X and Jasper Edwards of Collegiate scored in the first half.
The win avenged the Tigers’ only defeat of the season, a 2-1 loss to Collegiate (16-6-2) on Aug. 24.
St. X returned to the semifinals for the fourth time in five years where they faced Henry Clay (22-2-1) at Paul Dunbar on Wednesday. Ryle (22-2-3) and Henderson County (22-3-1) matched up in the other semifinal.
The boys’ championship game will be played at 5 p.m. Saturday at Dunbar. The girls’ final follows at 7 p.m.
Contact columnist Chris Cahill at email@example.com.
Category: High School Sports Report