Cathedral Catholic caps perfect volleyball season with sweep in state Open Division finals
Noemie Glover led the way with 14 kills and two blocks with Jenna Hanes getting 10 kills and 13 blocks for the Dons
The 13th appearance in the state volleyball finals turned to be not so lucky for Mountain View St. Francis.
That’s because in a matchup of two undefeated teams, the other team happened to be the No. 1 team in the nation.
And now Cathedral Catholic is also the state’s Open Division champion as well.
Cathedral claimed its first state championship in six years by handing St. Francis its first loss this season with a 25-21, 25-16, 25-23 victory Saturday night in the state finals at Santiago Canyon College.
The Dons, who won a sixth state title in seven appearances, finished with a 42-0 record with a 103-1 record in sets.
Cathedral’s last state title was in 2016 when the Dons capture the Division II state crown.
“There is no comparison to the 2016 title,” said Dons coach Juliana Conn, who will lose 10 seniors to college. “Winning a state Open title is hard to do.
“When we won D2, that was a completely different level than this.
“I thought we could do this. I’m not sure we can ever do this again with this type of team.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime team.”
In the first set, St. Francis, which has not won a state title since 2010, rallied from an early deficit for a 10-8 lead only to have Cathedral senior Noemie Glover bring the Dons back to lead 13-11 with four of the five kills she had to that point.
Cathedral stretched its lead to 20-14 with an 8-1 run and marched to winning the first set.
St. Francis pushed the victory back a few points before the Dons finally capped it off as Glover (six kills) and junior Jenna Hanes (three kills, four blocks) paced the way until Ryleigh Patterson’s block gave the momentum to Cathedral.
“I just turned my team on,” Glover said. “One good play leads to another.
“It hasn’t settled in yet that we won’t be playing anymore as a team.”
Erin Curtis led St. Francis with five kills and a block.
The second set was tied 6-6 before the Dons got going, went on a 6-0 run and took a 17-10 lead.
Glover and Hanes repeated what they had done in the first set with three kills for Glover and three kills with five blocks for Hanes.
A 3-0 surge by the Dons clinched the second set without ever relinquishing the lead.
The third set wound up being the most competitive one of the match.
With four lead changes and the score was tied 11 times, but in the end the Lancers never found an answer to Glover and Hanes.
Glover had five kills and a block while Hanes had four kills — her final one clinched the state title — and four blocks.
Glover led the way with 14 kills and two blocks with Hanes close with 10 kills and 13 blocks for the Dons.
In a matchup of two teams making their first state title game appearances, Walnut Creek Berean Christian edged Victory Christian 25-18, 14-25, 15-25, 25-21, 17-15 on Friday. Victory Christian (35-8) got 27 kills from Saren Rogers and Kealoha Phillips added 18 kills and four aces.
Sophie Hall led Berean Christian with 18 kills.
Monahan is a freelance writer.
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