Undefeated Padua Franciscan, PrepVolleyball.com’s No. 1 team in the country,downedNo. 10 Mount Notre Dame, 29-27, 26-28, 25-19, 25-19, in an Ohio Division I volleyball semifinal and now stands just one win away from making history. The Bruins (28-0), who have never won an Ohio Division I title let alone the figurative national championship, rode an insane 33 digs from libero Katie Thompson and a balanced offense orchestrated by setter Ella Mihacevich to the win in an electric atmosphere that saw both teams play with unbelievable intensity and heart from the first point to the last.
The scores suggest that the first two sets were tighter than the final two, but all four sets were tightly contested and played to a high level by teams more than deserving of their national acclaim. In the end, a little better Padua defense and a few more Cougar errors, the result of trying to be too perfect to beat that defense, proved the difference.
“Mount Notre Dame in this area is a powerhouse so we knew it was going to be a war in an electric atmosphere,” noted Padua coach Jim BeHarry. “We knew we had to be on top of our game. It was a challenge we looked forward to. We worked hard in practice all week to prepare for those guys and it came out on our side.”
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