PORTSMOUTH — If there’s ever such a thing as a deciding regular-season game, the Notre Dame Lady Titans and New Boston Lady Tigers volleyball teams met in Portsmouth in that very scenario on Thursday.
When the two met on the Lady Tigers’ home court back on Sept. 14, the pair went four sets, but ultimately Notre Dame held onto their current SOC winning streak that spans back to the beginning of the 2019 season.
Still holding a perfect league record entering their second meeting, Notre Dame managed a three-set win over New Boston this time around — maintaining its perfect mark versus SOC opponents and improving its record to 9-7 (8-0 SOC I).
ND coach Cassidy Roney said she felt her team’s energy was a major factor in winning the match in a three-set sweep (25-16, 25-16, 25-15).
“I thought we played very well last night. The first time we played New Boston we went four sets and all four were pretty close, so we knew we were going to have to come to play if we wanted to remain unbeaten in SOC play and I think we did just that,” Roney said, after the game. “We started out every set strong and kept up the energy and effort throughout the entire set. Everyone played their role well last night, and I am especially proud of our hitters and how strong they were at the net.”
Sophomores Gracie Ashley and Gwen Sparks led the Lady Titans’ efforts at the net with 12 and 11 kills, respectively.
Junior Annie Dettwiller and freshman Brianne Hicks each had nine kills, while sophomore Katie Strickland added five.
Dettwiller led Notre Dame with a team-high 23 assists and 19 digs, and Kamryn Bradford record 16 assists and seven digs.
Strickland led the Lady Titans with three total blocks at the net.
Beginning with its win over Alexander at the Circleville Invitational tournament on Sept. 18, Notre Dame has won six of eight contests.
Roney said she believes her team’s improvement over the course of the season has been factored heavily by its added experience playing as a unit.
“From game one to last night’s win we have improved so much,” Roney said. “We started off the season a little slow and still needed to figure out how to get this group to play together as a team. In the last couple weeks we have really been doing that, the girls have been playing so well together and are improving every single day.”
New Boston (10-4, 7-2 SOC I) remains in second place in the SOC I race — with its only losses in league play being to the Lady Titans.
When the Division IV postseason volleyball seasons are released for the Southeast District, both teams will be looking to make a return to the district tournaments.
“I have very high hopes for this group going into postseason,” Roney said. “We will take it game by game and will not be taking any opponent lightly, I have a lot of confidence in this team to perform well in tournaments and am excited to see what is in store.”
Notre Dame will travel to Green on Tuesday (Oct. 12) in hopes of continuing its unbeaten league mark.
New Boston will host Western and travel to Symmes Valley on Tuesday and Thursday (Oct. 14) to close out its regular season.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved