Lady Pios edge STM in volleyball action

CROWLEY –  Maybe it was nerves. Maybe it was the fear of failure. Maybe it was trying too hard.

 Whatever it was, Notre Dame’s Lady Pios overcame it and St. Thomas More’s Lady Cougars in a much-awaited battle of defending state volleyball champions Thursday at the A.B. Dore gym.

 After an error-filled 25-20 loss in the opening set, the Lady Pios rallied to win the next three  (28-26, 25-21, 25-23) and the match in improving to 8-1  and clearing a major early-season hurdle.

“This was a big win for us,” said Notre Dame coach Tara Young following the contest that pitted her squad, the defending Division III state champions (Notre Dame), against the defending Division II champions (STM).

“Any time we can beat STM, we feel like we must be performing pretty well because they are usually very a formidable and skilled opponent. Any time we can beat them, it’s big for us.”

Things didn’t start out well for the Lady Pios, who trailed by as many as seven (14-7) in the opening game. They got within two twice late in the set before STM went on a 5-1 run to take the early 1-0 lead.

“I don’t know if it was nerves or what,” said Young of the Lady Pios’ slow start. “I just felt like we were playing afraid. I think we were just getting ahead of ourselves and we were afraid that we were not going to meet everyone’s expectations; I just tried to bring them back to the moment.”

The Lady Pios settled down in the second game and after a back-and-forth battle that saw 10 ties, took a 28-26 win on an ace by sophomore Grace Morgan.

That victory was the turning point in the match.

“The second game was huge for us,” said Young. “We had a big lead early on, much like they had on us in the first game, but this time we were able to capitalize and finish.

“I think our ability to close out the second game kind of boosted us up to finish out the third and fourth games.”

The Lady Pios regained their confidence and behind a pair of kills by Lindsey Meyer and Anne Faulk and a block down the stretch from Morgan and Meyer, they took control of the match with a 25-21 victory.

The Lady Pios closed out the match in the fourth game an unforced error following a kill by Faulk.

“It was a battle,” said Young. “When you’re facing a team like STM, they’re not just going to roll over. We have to understand that we have to go out there and perform and execute the things that we do every time out. We have to manage what we do.”

Meyer, who played a huge role in the Lady Pios’ state title run in 2012, led the Lady Pios with 18 kills. She was also the digs leader with 35 and she scored four more points on two aces and two blocks.

“Lindsey had a phenomenal night,” said Young. “She worked so hard during the offseason and it’s paying off for her and for the team.”

Morgan and Faulk added eight kills each and Alex Miller had six. Morgan also had five digs, three aces and two blocks while Faulk had five digs. Miller posted 21 assists, 17 digs and three aces.

Sam Lyons contributed with three kills, 20 assists and 18 digs; Laura Schmid had one kill, six digs and one block and Alli Daigle had 18 digs.

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