Head Volleyball Coach Dominick Adornato ’11 celebrated his first win with the Saint Ignatius Volleyball program Wednesday night with a 3-0 match win over the Archbishop Hoban Knights. The Wildcats brought the energy after dropping their previous match-up vs. the Walsh Jesuit Warriors on Tuesday night.
The Cats jumped out to an early 12-3 advantage in the match’s opening set vs. the Knights. Senior opposite hitter Alec Bender was a force for Saint Ignatius in set one, leading the way with two kills and two aces. Bender missed the Wildcats opener vs. St. Edward with an injury but is back healthy and made his presence known Wednesday night.
Captain James Thoma would finish the first set with a beautiful serve that the Knights could not gather for their offense. The Cats would take set one 25-12 to open the game. Saint Ignatius dominated in all facets in set one, obtaining six aces, seven kills, two blocks, and three digs. The Knights could not find their rhythm with the Wildcats coming out aggressive.
In the second set, it was the Patrick O’Neill show as he was untouchable on his serves. The Wildcats trailed early in the set, 8-5, to the Knights. As soon as O’Neill took over on the serve, the momentum shifted for the Cats. Saint Ignatius went on a 20 to 5 run to close set number two out in favor of the Wildcats. Another dominant set gave the Wildcats a 2-0 match lead as they would total ten aces, nine kills, and five digs.
The Knights came out on fire in the third set, climbing to an early 11-5 advantage on the Wildcats. Saint Ignatius made a couple of runs early on in the third set but could not get a rhythm going. Trailing 20-12, coach Adornato took his second timeout of the set. Out of the timeout, the Wildcats fired on all cylinders.
Great plays by Danny Salem, Patrick Maly, O’Neill, and Bender brought the Cats back in the set. After an O’Neill ace, the Wildcats took a 21-20 lead in the third set. An 8-0 run catapulted Saint Ignatius into the driver seat to secure their first win of 2021.
With the score of 24-23 in favor of the Wildcats, it was a match point. Sophomore Sean Bingle stepped into the server role. Bingle was just brought up to the varsity squad from the JV squad this week. During the volley, the Knights were penalized, and the match point was granted to the Wildcats.
“It is amazing to get my first win,” says Adornato. “We were down 20-12 in that last set; to be able to come back, it just made it more special.”
The Wildcats improve to 1-2 on the season, and their next match-up will be against the Medina Bees on Wednesday, April 7, in Sullivan Gym at 7 p.m. The SIBN will have live coverage beginning with the JV contest at 6 p.m.