Lady Pios rally past MeGehee in quarterfinal thriller

KENNER – Facing a 2-0 deficit in their quarterfinal match with MeGehee, Notre Dame’s hopes of winning their third straight state championship looked to be slipping away.

But the resiliency of the Lady Pios wouldn’t let that happen.

The defending state champions rallied, winning the next two sets before claiming a 15-6 victory in the fifth and decisive set to advance to the semifinals of the 2012 Division IV State Volleyball Championships at the Pontchartrain Center.

The top-seeded Lady Pios will take on University Lab on Court 2 Friday morning at 10 a.m. The winner of that contest will advance to Saturday’s championship game that is slated for 1 p.m.

“I want to give MeGehee tons of credit,” said ND coach Tara Young after the thrilling victory. “They came in ready to play and our girls came in a little tight. We were trying not to make mistakes and that’s when we make mistakes.

“But it’s funny because we started relaxing when our backs were against the wall. And when we reached that point where we had nothing to lose, we stepped up and really began to show what this team can do.”

The Lady Pios dropped the first two sets (24-26, 17-25) before Young made a shift in her lineup. The shift put Lindsey Meyer in the front row for the start of the third set and it paid huge dividends.

Meyer, as well as Megan Malmay, caught fire and helped Notre Dame fend off elimination with a 25-20 victory.

“Lindsey, stepped up in a big way for us” said Young of Meyer, who finished the game with 21 kills and six digs. “Both outside hitters did a superb job.”

Malmay finished with 12 kills, 24 digs, one ace and two blocks.

The Lady Pios went on to win the fourth set, 25-17, before putting the clamps on MeGehee’s offense in the final game.

“What really made the difference ultimately was our defense,” said Young. “We were digging some balls. At that point (in the fifth set), they were completely on their heels. We weren’t letting any ball hit the floor. Their hitters were getting frustrated and they just weren’t able to do anything.”

Taylor Boulet led the defensive charge with 49 digs while Alli Daigle had 14.

“Taylor and Alli did a great job,” said Young. “Those two in the back row in that fifth game, they stepped up huge.”

Alex Miller contributed nine kills, 19 assists, nine digs and two aces in the victory while Grace Morgan had nine kills, six digs and two blocks.

Also contributing were Sam Lyons, who set up the big hitters with 28 assists. She also had two kills, 16 digs and two aces. Katherine Kirsch added three kills and 10 digs.

“The key now is to get some rest,” said Young. “We’re exhausted, but we have time to relax and unwind and get ready for the semifinals.”

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