Case in point: Notre Dame and district volleyball championships.
The Lady Pios, perennial volleyball powers, extended their district championship streak to an impressive 19 straight Tuesday evening, defeating Iota’s Lady Bulldogs in straight sets, 25-11, 25-22, 25-10.
The Lady Pios, who have now won their district title every year since 1993, improved to 28-9 on the season and finished the league slate with a perfect 6-0 record.
Iota fell to 31-6 overall and 3-2 in league play with one district game (Catholic High of New Iberia) remaining this evening.
“Iota is a tough team and they were a formidable opponent,” said ND coach Tara Young. “They are one of our rivals and it was a great environment. Our girls just rose to the challenge.”
The Lady Pios opened the match with a 25-11 victory in the first set, but they had to battle through adversity in the second set.
Iota jumped out to an early led and took a 21-16 advantage before the Lady Pios rallied for a 25-22 victory.
“The score doesn’t really indicate how good of a match this really was,” said Young. “We won 25-11 that first game and I kind of figured they (Iota) were done. But they weren’t.
“We were behind that whole second game, but my team doesn’t fold either. That was the backbreaker, coming back and beating them in the second set.”
The Lady Pios put the game away in the third and final set with a 25-10 victory.
“I thought we made some improvement on our front and back row defense,” said Iota assistant Luke Richard. “We were much more aggressive tonight than we were the last time we played them. We just could not execute our offense like we had planned.
“But I saw major growth overall.”
Lindsey Meyer had a breakout game for the Lady Pios. She recorded a season-high 16 kills to go along with five digs and one block.
“Lindsey had a great game,” said Young. “She was utilizing quite a few different shots that we had been trying to get her to work on in practice. She started kind of having some success with a few different shots and not just putting the ball in the same place so she really had a nice game.”
Megan Malmay added seven kills, nine digs and one ace while Sam Lyons recorded five kills, 13 assists, seven digs and three blocks.
Katherine Kirsch also played a key role in the victory with two kills, eight digs and one ace.
“Katherine was aggressive and she played an outstanding game,” said Young. “It may not show up in the stats, but she made some critical digs at critical times and she just had a great attitude. She was kind of the emotional leader, but she also made some significant plays at some significant points.”
Defensive specialist Taylor Boulet had one kill, 28 digs and two aces for the Lady Pios while setter Alex Miller had two kills, 18 assists, four digs and four aces. Allie Daigle added seven digs, Madelyn LeJeune had five and Annie Sarver had one.
Taylor Deville paced Iota with five kills and six blocks. She was followed by Madison Meche with six kills; Kaylee Richard with five kills and one block and Erika Manuel with one kill and one block.
Also contributing for Iota was Mallory Faul (15 assists, 7 blocks), Madison Benoit (3 kills, 3 blocks), Jillian Boone (30 digs), Paige Soirez (23 digs), Melinda Russell (15 digs) and Claire LeJeune (20 digs).