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Notre Dame volleyball team loses showdown with Louisville Assumption, 3-1, in state title match


By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

The two most successful high school volleyball teams in Kentucky faced off in the state championship match for the eighth time on Saturday and Louisville Assumption came away with a 3-1 victory over Notre Dame.

Assumption claimed its 23rd state championship trophy and now has a 7-1 record against Notre Dame in the state finals. The Pandas’ only win over the Rockets came in the 1989 title match.

Notre Dame hitter Ella Goetz tries to tap the ball past two Assumption blockers at the net during the state final. (Photo by Bob Jackson)

This year, Notre Dame (32-6) made it to the state final with a team that has only one senior on the roster. Many of them played on last year’s state championship team, but they didn’t execute well enough in Saturday night’s season finale to take the title once again.

The final statistics showed Assumption converted on 71 percent (55 of 77) of its scoring opportunities compared to Notre Dame’s 55 percent (54 of 98) in the four sets.

The winners also had a .229 to .174 advantage in team hitting percentage.

Assumption senior Charlotte Moriarity was named the state tournament’s most valuable player after getting 18 kills and 15 digs in the championship match.

Notre Dame’s kill leaders were junior Ava Tilden with 13 and juniors Ella Goetz and Riley McCloskey with eight each. Tilden was named to the state all-tournament team along with senior Eva Erpenbeck and junior Julia Grace, who had 24 digs. The Pandas’ assist leaders were junior Lauren Ott with 22 and sophomore Lizzy Larkins with 16.

Ava Tilden

Assumption won the first set, 25-19, and Notre Dame evened the match when Tilden scored the final two points in the second set for a 26-24 win. The third set ended with a 6-0 run by the Rockets for a 25-11 decision.

In the fourth set, Assumption went on 5-2 run that opened up a 20-15 lead. A pair of kills by Goetz ignited a Notre Dame rally that sliced the margin to 22-20, but the Rockets got the last three points on a double-hit violation, service ace and kill.

Tilden had the best hitting numbers in the championship match, converting on 13 of 34 attack attempts with one error for .353 percent. In her team’s last three matches, the 6-foot outside hitter had a .318 hitting percentage (28 kills, 69 attacks, six errors) with 13 aces.

Notre Dame now has a 10-13 record in state championship matches. With all but one player returning next season, the Pandas will be looking for their 11th state title with several senior veterans in the lineup.

Notre Dame 3, West Jessamine 0 / state semifinal match

Notre Dame swept three sets against West Jessamine in the second state semifinal match on Saturday afternoon with an impressive .348 hitting percentage, getting 54 kills on 112 attacks with just 15 errors.

Audrey Dyas

The Pandas’ kill leaders were sophomores Audrey Dyas and Grace Portwood with 12 each. Their combined total was one less than the kills recorded by the West Jessamine team that had a .140 hitting percentage (25 kills, 86 attacks, 13 errors).

Next in line for Notre Dame were juniors Ava Tilden and Riley McCloskey with eight kills each, followed by senior Eva Erpenbeck with six. Tilden, who was named first-team all-state by the Kentucky Volleyball Coaches Association, also had four service aces to give her a total of 13 in three state tournament matches.

The set scores in the semifinal match were 25-18, 25-21 and 25-13. In the first set, Notre Dame had a blazing .553 hitting percentage (20 kills, 30 attacks, four errors). The Pandas had eight players get kills in the second set with Tilden and Portwood each getting four. In the final set, Dyas recorded eight of the team’s 16 kills.

N. Ky. volleyball teams in state championship finals

2023 — Louisville Assumption 3, Notre Dame 1
2022 — Notre Dame 3, Lexington Dunbar 0
2021 — St. Henry 3, Louisville Mercy 0
2020 — Notre Dame 3, Louisville Mercy 2
2014 — Louisville Mercy 3, Notre Dame 2
2013 — Louisville Assumption 3, Notre Dame 0
2007 — Louisville Assumption 2, Notre Dame 0
2006 — Louisville Assumption 2, St. Henry 1
2005 — Louisville Assumption 2, St. Henry 0
2003 — Louisville Sacred Heart 2, Notre Dame 1
2002 — Louisville Assumption 2, Notre Dame 0
2000 — Louisville Assumption 2, Notre Dame 0
1998 — Louisville Assumption 2, Notre Dame 0
1996 — Louisville Assumption 2, Notre Dame 1
1994 — Notre Dame 2, Louisville Mercy 1
1991 — Notre Dame 2, Louisville Mercy 1
1990 — Louisville Mercy 2, Notre Dame 0
1989 — Notre Dame 2, Louisville Assumption 1
1988 — Louisville Mercy 2, Notre Dame 1
1987 — Notre Dame 2, Louisville Holy Cross 1
1986 — Louisville Mercy 2, Notre Dame 0
1985 — Louisville Mercy 2, Notre Dame 0
1984 — Notre Dame 2, Louisville Sacred Heart 0
1983 — Notre Dame 2, Angela Merici 1
1982 — Notre Dame 2, Our Lady of Providence 1
1981 — St. Henry 2, Our Lady of Providence 0
1980 — Villa Madonna 2, Our Lady of Providence 0
1979 — Notre Dame 2, Our Lady of Providence 1

 


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