Notre Dame’s junior and senior girls volleyball teams went into Senator O’Connor looking to give the Victoria Village school a run for its money on Dec. 9.
However the ladies at both levels lost their matches: the juniors 2-0 (26-24, 25-13) and the seniors 2-0 (25-19, 25-23).
Spirit co-coach Jedda Tomlin chalked the younger crew’s loss up to a lack of communication.
“This is our opening match, so the first set was a good match but certainly communication was key out there,” she said. “We just settled them down a little bit.
“They know they can do it, and they did,” she added. “But unfortunately they fell a little short.”
Indeed, Notre Dame gave the home team Blues a scare as they shot back from an 8-2 deficit to take the lead 17-12 in the first set.
Part of it was due to the strong service of Michelle Milligan, who set up the action for seven straight points. Bernadine Cristome also added some pivotal blocks and digs.
Senator O’Connor’s junior coach Kevin Mohan said his charge stuck to the game plan, which led to their dominance.
“We went over covering the ball, getting to your spot, have fun, communicate a lot,” he said. “They did that, though in the first game they were a bit iffy. It was a tight game but the second game they came back and played really well.”
Putting in great efforts were Keeley Dougherty and Tasha Noronha, who spiked the ball like she was six-feet tall.
As for the seniors, both Notre Dame’s coaches Tomlin and Kaellie Guzzo were impressed by the close games.
“We tried a couple of players in the second that weren’t starters, which threw them off a little,” she said. “But we came back in the end.”
Chipping in at the net were Alana Ogle and Nadia Cornnachia.
Still, the senior Blues won this match too, much to the elation of coach Daniel Landriault.
“Anytime you start on a win where you’re unsure of how things are going to be then I’m definitely optimistic,” he said. “Every season we’ve had we’ve always gotten a little bit better.”
Notre Dame’s spirit is not dashed yet as it is the beginning of the TDCAA season for both teams and the glimmers of strong service and handling provide reassurance for a good season, Guzzo said.