Lady Pios await playoff pairings

CADE – Notre Dame is capping another outstanding regular season this weekend at the ESA Spooktacular.

The Lady Pios pushed their win streak to 19 straight Thursday by winning their first two matches at the annual Halloween tournament on the final weekend of the regular season. The Pios outlasted Teurlings, 25-21, 25-20, and spiked Comeaux 25-14, 25-13.

The tournament concluded Saturday with results not available at press time. The state playoffs begin this week and additional wins could move Notre Dame atop the Division II power rankings. Brackets will be announced Monday.

Notre Dame has been on a tear the past month, knocking off defending state champ Catholic, New Iberia, in two district matches on the way to a 13th consecutive league title in as many years under head coach Tara Young.

The Pios secured a perfect 6-0 district campaign by sweeping West St. Mary, 25-8, 25-8, 25-12 Tuesday. Young’s teams have never lost a district match and added another landmark accomplishment last weekend by winning the prestigious Newman Invitational in New Orleans.

Notre Dame started play with a 25-19, 28-26 win over 5A power Chapelle and went on to defeat six opponents to win the tournament championship. Against host Newman, the Pios trailed by seven points in the first game and stormed back for a 25-21, 29-27 win and then closed pool play with a 25-16, 25-10 sweep of Division II foe Dunham.

Notre Dame began bracket play with a 25-15, 25-10 victory over Sam Houston and in the semifinals, swept another division opponent, University High, 25-20, 25-12. Chappelle earned a rematch with the Pios in the finals, but the replay was not as close. Notre Dame made it six straight sweeps, taking a 25-15, 25-17 win.

Young took her team for a mid-week tune up at Sacred Heart of Grand Coteau on Wednesday. The Pios improved to 28-9 with a straight set win, 25-8, 25-14, 25-15.

Alex Miller and Megan Malmay got the Pios off to an early lead with kills from the left and right outside. Allison Leonards slammed two kills and knocked another winner down at the net for a 14-4 lead. Marie Ledet had back to back kills and Malmay spiked the final point of the first game.

Neither team could get a serve in to start the second game, but Alaina Savoy kept the Pios close with a pair of quick set kills. Malmay gave the Pios their first lead of the game with a blazing kill down the sideline.

Coach Megan McGown, a former player for Young at Notre Dame, has the Saints on the rise in her first year heading the Sacred Heart program. But the teacher, Tara Young, had too many weapons for the pupil and her scrappy Saints. Katherine Kirsch scored a pair of kills in the middle and Leonards added an ace and two kills from the outside to cruise in game two.

Leonards and Malmay led the Pios with nine kills each and Alex Miller dished out 14 assists and had four kills. That trio staked Notre Dame a quick game three lead and Kirsch added a monster block kill and a cross court winner from the middle as the Pios coasted.

Savoy had five kills, two digs and two aces and Ledet added six kills and 15 assists. The Pios defense got 17 digs from Mallory Chaisson, five each from Leonards and Miller, four from Malmay and three each from Ledet, Kirsch, Taylor Boulet and Ali Daigle.

The Pios improved to 30-9 on the season and have won all 11 matches against Division II opponents, The Pios will most certainly receive a first round bye in the playoffs, and then host a second round game for the right to advance to the state tournament, November 10-12 at the Pontchartrain Center in New Orleans.

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