Lady Pios down Livonia

CROWLEY – For the Notre Dame Lady Pios, the regional round of the Division III volleyball state playoffs has been anything but a struggle in recent years.

And Tuesday was no different.

The No. 1-seeded Lady Pios took a commanding 25-9 victory over No. 16 Livonia in the first game of their regional showdown and never looked back, cruising in the final two games, 25-12, 25-9, to claim the match and advance to the state tournament in Kenner beginning Thursday.

“We know that we’ve got to come out and set the tone of the game early,” said ND coach Tara Young. “These guys know it’s all about ball control. If we can get a great pass off of the first serve, it’s going to set the tone nicely and we were able to do that.”

None of the three games were ever in doubt for the Lady Pios, who simply had too much firepower for the Lady Wildcats to handle.

The top two guns for the Lady Pios were seniors Mayme Cook and Kylie Pannell. Cook finished the night with 14 kills, 18 assists, seven digs and six aces while Pannell had 12 kills, one assist and three digs.

“We obviously just had a little more depth than they did,” said Young. “And they were small too. We just kind of outsized them. It’s kind of nice to be on the big end of things.”

Cook and Pannell weren’t the only factors in the victory though.

Taylor Simon added six kills, one assist, 18 digs and one ace while Alison Leonards had five kills and three digs.

Also contributing were Marie Ledet (3 kills, 19 assists, 10 digs, 2 aces), Alaina Savoy (2 kills, 8 digs, 1 ace, 1 block), Megan Malmay (1 kill), Taylor Boulet (13 digs, 2 aces) and Mallory Chaisson (13 digs).

“Mayme and Kylie both did well tonight and I thought that Alison (Leonards) really had some nice shots,” said Young. “I think across the board we had girls do some good things at each position.

“Our outside hitters did a good job. We ran some plays and were able to make some things work. Our middles had some great runs and some great shots; both of our setters did a good job and our defense played well.”

Next up for Notre Dame in its quest to get back to the state title game is a familiar foe in No. 8 seed Teurlings. The Lady Rebels placed second in their district behind the Lady Pios.

That quarterfinal matchup is slated for Thursday at 3:15 p.m. on Court 2 at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner.

“We’ve faced Teurlings three times already, which is not always the greatest position to be in,” said Young. “We’ve handled them all three times, but it puts us in a tough position. It’s nice because it’s a big rivalry and I think our girls will be ready to compete.”

The winner of the Notre Dame-Teurlings contest will move on to Friday’s semifinal contest against either Parkview or St. Louis. That game will also be played on Court 2 beginning at 1:30 p.m.

The Class AAA championship game is slated for Saturday at 3 p.m.

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