Volleyball action had no better home last night than at East Ridge High School. The recently honored Coach Catherine Neely and the Lady Pioneers hosted several teams in mixed district match-ups. Notre Dame played East Ridge and Red Bank in the night’s two court shuffle.
East Ridge played Notre Dame in their only regular season match-up. The Lady Irish were able to get a jump on the Lady Pioneers and never let up. Notre Dame pushed passed East Ridge with a match score 2-0.
This was a big win for the Lady Irish who put an end to their 8 match losing streak.
Notre Dame’s offense commanded the evening with 31 of 50 points scored. Out of 13 total service aces, Danika Dorris had four. Ragen Dobson, Stephanie Bouchard and Keri Klassen had three each. Kaylee Stone saw seven attacks hit the floor out of the team’s 16 total kills, helped by Dobson’s 13 assists. Tess Scobey also added points with two blocks against the Lady Pioneers’ hitting attempts.
The match of the evening proved to be Notre Dame versus Red Bank. Smiles, friendships and handshakes aside, both teams may hold top records for their respective districts, but neither team was easily influenced nor were they willing to go down without a fight.
The first set had Notre Dame out to a quick lead until an 11-10 timeout by the Lady Irish. Red Bank came of the timeout and put up eight straight points with help from Notre Dame’s unforced errors. But the Lady Lions had problems of their own as the Lady Irish countered and tied the set 24-24. Notre Dame took the next two points winning the set 26-24.
The second set began slowly with both teams scoring back and forth. The Lady Lions, however, kept an aggressive stance putting several attacks over the Lady Irish block for kills. Notre Dame was unable to keep it close and lost their first set momentum to lose 16-25.
With the match tied at a game a piece, the final set was a showdown. Red Bank won the coin toss and scored four quick points. After a timeout, Notre Dame tied the game back up 6-6. From this vantage point, the Lady Irish seemed to be on a constant attack, but the Lady Lions were able pass up many of those hits and return the favor keeping the lead at 12-15. The Lady Irish found no desire to quit. Several aces, a few blocks and a couple of long volleys put Notre Dame back on top at 21-20. Red Bank’s late game hustle and good defensive digs were not enough to claim the night’s honor. The Lady Irish were able to defeat the District 6AA leaders 25-23 and win the match 2-1.
“It was a good game between two good teams. We held our own,” said Coach Ted Hackett. “I’m happy to see this team come around and gel. Our focus from here is one match at a time, one point at a time.”
Notre Dame’s Ragen Dobson showed herself to be a notable factor with 31 assists of the 34 total kills. Kaylee Stone led the Lady Irish offense with 10 kills, Stephanie Bouchard had nine, and Genna Howard and Mallory Hein had four apiece. Bouchard also served up 3 aces and dug 26 Lady Lions’ attacks. Other defensive performers were Michaela Guice with 13 digs, Danika Dorris with seven and Keri Klassen with six. Freshman Tess Scobey blocked three attacks at the net showing qualities in common with a brick wall.
Although the season ends this week, Notre Dame has three more matches against AA District 7 teams. Tuesday they are away to play Sequatchie and Bledsoe County high schools. Thursday’s final season match has the Lady Irish fighting for the top spot in the district against rival Chattanooga Christian School. This match will be played at CCS at 6 p.m.