The Volleyball Cats swept Villa Angela-St. Joseph this past Tuesday in Sullivan gym in three sets. The Wildcats are back at .500 after the win vs. the Vikings and seek to continue their winning ways Thursday night vs. Massillon Jackson. After a comeback in set one, Saint Ignatius dominated sets two and three to secure the win at home.
Trailing 15-8 in the first set, the Wildcats were looking for a spark to jumpstart their offense. After a spike by sophomore Patrick O’Neill, the Cats began to claw their way back into the set. Saint Ignatius is in the early part of its season but has adopted a never quit motto and seems always to fight back no matter the score in a set.
The Wildcats kept it close in the first set; however, VASJ was ahead 19-14 and looking to steal early momentum from the Wildcats. Jacob Thomas got the rally started with a beautiful spike that just stayed in play to get the point back for the Cats. After a signature kill by senior Danny Salem, the Wildcats were knotted at 19 with the Vikings. The Wildcats continued their run in the first set, securing a win after an Alec Bender tap kill that made the score 25-22. The Blue and Gold went on an 11-3 rally to take set one from VASJ.
Saint Ignatius fed off the energy of winning the opening set and came in with some fire in set two. The Cats jumped out to an early 10-3 lead against the Vikings in set two after a James Thoma Ace. After a timeout by VASJ, the Vikings began a comeback of their own, making the deficit 10-9 in set two. The Wildcats persevered and took a 19-12 lead when Salem’s persistence paid off. The senior had three spikes on one volley, and on the third hit, he was able to secure the point. The Cats closed out set two with a 25-16 win after O’Neill placed the ball in an optimal spot where VASJ could not set up their offense.
In set number three, it was all Wildcats as they would work to an early 7-0 lead vs. the Vikings. Saint Ignatius did not look back as they would win the final set 25-9 after an errant serve by VASJ went into the net.
The Wildcats finished the game on Tuesday night with 12 Aces, 29 kills, four blocks, and 42 digs against VASJ. Bender racked up six kills in the win, while freshman captain Patrick Maly was responsible for 15 assists against VASJ.
Next up is a trip down to Massillon to take on the Jackson Polar Bears on the road. The Cats seek to be above .500 for the first time of the 2021 season. Tonight will be an early pivotal contest for the Wildcats as they match up against a well versatile Polar Bears team. The first set will be at 7 p.m. after the conclusion of the JV match.