The Cathedral Lady Irish captured the IHSAA 4A Sectional 10 volleyball championship on Saturday, October 19, in dramatic fashion defeating the Lawrence North Lady Wildcats in the championship match for the second straight year. Finding themselves down 1-2 after three sets and in a win-or-go-home situation, Cathedral overpowered Lawrence North in the final two sets to defend their title by a match score of 3-2 (25-15, 20-25, 19-25, 25-18, 15-7).
The Lady Irish won the first set in convincing fashion with an unrelenting offensive attack and unfaltering defensive backcourt. Cathedral recorded 16 kills with only 8 errors and dug 22 Lawrence North attacks in the first set and were never truly threatened en route to the 25-15 set win. The Lady Wildcats were not going to go down without a fight, however, and rebounded with a strong attack of their own to take the second and third sets 20-25 and 19-25, respectively. Cathedral cooled considerably on offense with a combined 22 kills against 18 errors in the two loosing sets and dipped dramatically on defense with only 10 and 9 digs, respectively. Finding themselves on the brink of elimination from the IHSAA 2019 Volleyball State Tournament, the Lady Irish truly answered the bell in the fourth set. Having recorded only two blocks over the course of the first three sets, Cathedral dominated at the net in the fourth set with four blocks of the Lawrence North attackers to completely shut down the Lady Wildcat offense. The Lady Irish cruised to a 25-18 set win behind 12 kills with only 4 errors and rebounded defensively to dig up 11 Lady Wildcat attacks. Cathedral rode this wave of dominance into the fifth set by jumping out to a quick 5-0 lead and were never threatened on their way to the crushing 15-7 set win and a 3-2 match victory. Cathedral posted 10 kills with only 1 error, served up 2 aces, and delivered 6 digs to put away Lawrence North in the decisive set.
The come-from-behind win marks the second time this season the resilient Lady Irish have fought back after falling behind 1-2 in a match to claim a championship, mirroring their comeback win in the championship match of the Indianapolis City Alliance Tournament just 9 days prior.
Coach Mary Ording Hemer effectively utilized her deep roster throughout the day on Saturday. All six seniors saw significant action in the championship match with Anna Trieloff, Jojo Suppiger, Anna Neale, Mae Hedrick, Jami Hansen, and Mia Dittoe playing key roles while leading the Lady Irish to victory. Juniors Lucia Corsaro and Sarah Casper continued their torrid play and were joined by fellow juniors Elle Kaiser and Mia Finn in the final and semi-final matches. Underclass players also figured heavily into the Lady Irish winning formula, with freshman Mallory Dills and sophomore Caroline Kubacki seeing significant action and sophomore Katie Bremmer and freshman Caiti Barthel rounding out the playing roster on Saturday. Sophomores Kelsey Bailey, Paige Emkow, Maggie Johnson, and Campbell Mahurin all practiced with the varsity team this week, playing pivotal roles in preparing the team for Sectional action.
Cathedral reached the championship match by defeating North Central in a semifinal match earlier in the day. The Lady Irish came out sluggish against the Lady Panthers, fell behind by a large margin in the first set, and despite clawing back found themselves on the losing end of a close score. North Central proved to be a formidable opponent but in the end was no match for Cathedral who rebounded to take the next three sets, win the match 3-1, and secure a place in the final (23-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-21).
Next up for Cathedral is the 4A Regional at Greenfield-Central High School on Saturday, October 26. Roncalli takes on Avon in the 10am match followed by New Castle versus Cathedral in the 12pm match. Winners will square off for the Regional Championship at 7pm. Come support the Lady Irish as they pursue a Regional Championship.