this spring after it lost to Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller in the 2007
boys’ volleyball state final. It got exactly that on April 3 at Elder. The Panthers, ranked No. 3 in the StudentSportsVolleyball.com National
Fab 50 poll this week, defeated Moeller 24-26, 25-19, 25-22, 25-22 in a
rivalry match between the two Greater Catholic League-South division
Cincinnati Elder wanted to be able to have a bit of redemption early this spring after it lost to Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller in the 2007 boys’ volleyball state final.
It got exactly that on April 3 at Elder.
The Panthers, ranked No. 3 in the StudentSportsVolleyball.com National Fab 50 poll this week, defeated Moeller 24-26, 25-19, 25-22, 25-22 in a rivalry match between the two Greater Catholic League-South division opponents.
It was the first time Elder defeated Moeller since May 1, 2003 and that was before the current rally scoring (best 3-out-of-5 games) format.
Elder (23-6 in 2007), considered by many to be the Cincinnati area preseason favorite, has been solid from the start of the season.
The Panthers improved to 6-0 Tuesday night with a 25-15, 25-8, 25-15 win over host Kettering Alter.
Prior to this week, Elder was able to get three wins at the end of March over Lakota East, Hilliard Darby and Cincinnati St. Xavier at the St. Charles Tournament. Elder was named tournament champions.
Elder returned home and defeated St. Xavier 25-22, 26-24, 25-22 on April 1. Senior outside hitter Andrew Wessels had 14 kills, four blocks and eight digs to lead the Panthers in that match.
“The team is playing well at large,” Elder coach Sean Tierney said. “They certainly faced a very tough test right out of the gate this year. We have already faced Moeller, St. Xavier (twice) and Hilliard Darby. All three are ranked in the top five to 10 (places) in the state.”
Elder had to rally to capture the match against Moeller after it lost the first game 24-26.
Elder senior middle hitter Rob Malone had 15 kills and five blocks while senior opposite hitter Tony Baldrick had 11 kills, three aces and two blocks. Wessels had 10 kills, four blocks and nine digs.
Tierney said his squad isn’t perfect just yet, but he is encouraged by the strong start.
“The team as a whole is really doing well,” Tierney said. “One good thing about this team is that we don’t have a stud who is carrying us each night. Rather, the team as a whole is playing very well and each match it is a new member who seems to step up and provide what we need at a different time.”
Elder is home for three consecutive matches, including vs. Purcell Marian Friday night, vs. Oak Hills April 14 and vs. McNicholas April 15.
The Panthers play at Dayton Carroll April 17 at 7 p.m.