No. 1 Padua Franciscan led St. Francis DeSales, 19-12, in the opening set of the Ohio Division I state championship match Saturday night at Nutter Center in Dayton. But the Bruins were not playing well or with the energy necessary to win State and claim the mythical national championship that would follow as a result.
The match could go one of two ways:
Padua, which was sensational in defeating No. 10 Mount Notre Dame in a semifinal the afternoon before, could pick up its game and rout DeSales in three straight sets.
Or, the Bruins could continue to play like this, thereby giving the Stallions, playing with nothing to lose, the opportunity to write their own story.
“I’m still shaking,” said DeSales OH Maryanne Boyle 90 minutes later. “It’s not real. We did that! WE DID THAT!!”
St. Francis DeSales (27-2) won its first volleyball state championship in 37 years – and the 29th across all sports in the school’s storied history -- by beating the previously-undefeated Bruins (28-1) at their own game. The No. 55 team nationally put consistent service pressure on Padua’s passers, got quality touches at the net and picked up absolutely everything in the back row on its way to the 19-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-22 win.
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