In the latest chapter in the volleyball rivalry between state powers Mount Carmel and St. Joseph’s Academy, the Cubs were victorious in the final of the Kenner Volleyball Classic.
The Cubs beat the Redstickers 25-21, 26-24 in the tournament hosted by Cabrini High School at the Pontchartrain Center.
Mount Carmel (38-2) and St. Joseph’s (28-2) have combined for 66 wins and four losses this season; all of those losses have been to each other. The season series is tied 2-2.
In the second set, the Redstickers held a 23-16 lead, but the Cubs came back to tie the score at 24 and eventually clinch the match.
“It just showed a lot of heart and determination at the end,” Mount Carmel coach April Hagadone said. “We came out, and we fought. It just goes to show you that we’re always in it regardless of what the score is. So, it was really big for our team.”
“It showed so much heart and so much leadership by some of these girls,” she said.
“Some of my seniors, they’re so special. They work really, really hard. They really stepped up today.”
Leading Mount Carmel (38-2) was Kristen Nuss with 15 kills, while Katie Kampen had 13 kills.
Jillian Clark had 33 assists.
For St. Joseph’s (28-2), Hannah Rovira had a team-high 11 kills and seven blocks. Melanie Miller had 11 digs and Elise Gasperecz had 17 assists.
“Overall, it was a great match,” St. Joseph’s coach Sivi Miller said. “But, for us, the loss comes at getting stuck and not being able to pull through in some tough situations.”
Despite the loss, Miller noticed her team’s tenacity.
“Offensively and defensively we were pretty scrappy,” she said. “But we were playing a team that’s just as scrappy and just as offensively sound as we are.
“It shows things we still need to work on, things we push forward and go back to practice and finish out the season to make sure this doesn’t happen when we meet them again.”
In the first set between the two rivals, the Redstickers scored quickly as a Rovira kill gave them a 3-1 lead. The Cubs cut the lead to 5-2 when a Megan Davenport hit cut the lead to 5-2.
Mount Carmel had a rally that cut the St. Joseph’s lead to 10-8 and a Nuss kill trimmed the lead to 10-9.
The Redstickers kept a one-point lead for the next four points until Mount Carmel’s Victoria Kissinger had a short kill that tied the set at 14-14.
Following a 21-21 tie, the Cubs kept the lead and won the set when Davenport tipped the ball over the net.