Toledo Notre Dame wins first Division I district volleyball title

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Notre Dame 3, St. Ursula 0
Volleyball matches between Toledo Notre Dame Academy and Toledo St. Ursula Academy traditionally go the full five games and if you had asked anyone in attendance Saturday at the Division I district finals what they expected it is doubtful that you would have found anyone who would have predicted anything else. Notre Dame, however, had other ideas as they put away St. Ursula rather easily in three straight games, 25-18, 25-17, 25-13.


PERRYSBURG – Volleyball matches between Toledo Notre Dame Academy and Toledo St. Ursula Academy traditionally go the full five games and if you had asked anyone in attendance Saturday at the Division I district finals what they expected it is doubtful that you would have found anyone who would have predicted anything else. Notre Dame, however, had other ideas as they put away St. Ursula rather easily in three straight games, 25-18, 25-17, 25-13.

The Eagles’ district title is surprisingly their very first and comes on the heels of their first City League title since 1983.

Notre Dame head coach Scott Matera gave full credit to his players.

“They have done the work and pulled together all year,” Matera said. “It is a total team effort. Everybody is a part of this team. No stars.”

True to Matera’s words, the Eagles’ victory involved solid contributions by several different players but no one player stood out. Libero Mackenzie Strall made a number of great saves; setter Jordan Goad maintained her consistency; hiters Paige Roback and Jessie Batanian several great kills; and others contributed in so many ways. It was truly a team effort.

“Several weeks ago we had a match with Huron and after two games we were down 2-0. We pulled the girls aside and told them that they were all trying to do it by themselves and that it would not work. We reminded them that they needed to play as a team and after that they did and we came back to win. I believe that was a turning point,” said Matera.

Even though the Eagles won in three straight only the third game came easily. In the first two games the Arrows actually led most of the way but in both the Eagles regrouped late in the game to surge ahead and eventually pull away.

Arrow coach John Buck was not surprised by the Eagle victory.

“They're a real balanced team with a really good setter that's able to distribute the ball, and their passers are able to control that first ball. They kept putting us in single blocks on their attackers, and they're very talented and it's not easy to stop them one on one.”

The Eagles will make their first regional appearance on Wednesday at Norwalk High School. Amherst Steele will be the Eagles’ opponent. For the first time in seven years someone other than St. Ursula will carry the Toledo area’s hopes for a state volleyball title.

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