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Volleyball Cats Return to State Tournament

By Joe Mertens '15, 05/31/22, 3:30PM EDT


The Wildcats are back in the State Tournament after a 3-0 victory over Firestone on Saturday.

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Oh - The Volleyball Cats are heading back to the OHSBVA State Tournament after a 3-0 victory over Firestone on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats are looking to make a run at a State Championship as they will now take on Centerville in the State Quarterfinal for a chance to compete on Championship Sunday. The Wildcats ended the regular season ranked fourth in the state by OHSBVA and #13 in the Midwest Region by USA Today and will seek the program’s second State Championship.

In Regional play, the Wildcats have been on fire, hitting their peak at the right time. Fresh off their win at home against Stow-Munroe Falls, the Cats traveled to Walsh Jesuit High School to take on the Firestone Falcons in the Regional Final. After a Billy Kander kill, Saint Ignatius would jump out to an early 8-1 advantage in the opening set. The Falcons would cut the Wildcat lead to 12-6, but the Cats would answer, going on a 13-2 run to close out the opening set, winning 25-8.

With the opening set, the Cats would tally eight kills, eight assists and seven aces, taking the early momentum in the Regional Final.

In the second set, the Falcons would make their adjustments and the advantage would swing back and forth in the opening stages. After a spike by Firestone to make the score 6-4 in favor of Saint Ignatius, the Wildcats would go on a 9-0 run to make the set score 15-4. A Patrick Maly ace grew the Wildcat advantage to 21-8, but Firestone would not go quietly, making Saint Ignatius work for those final four points to take the set. A powerful Andrew Sabol spike gave the Cats a 25-18 set two win and put them up in the series 2-0.

The Wildcats would eclipse an impressive 13 kills, 12 assists in the second set, and four aces. The Cats were just one set win away from heading to the State Tournament.

For the first time in the match, the Cats would trail in a set as Firestone would take an early 4-2 advantage in set three. Saint Ignatius would immediately go on a run to take back the lead as kills from Kander, Patrick O’Neill and Sam Brown sparked a 7-0 run. With back-to-back Sean Bingle aces, the Cats were just three points away from taking the match. Firestone would continue to fight but fall in set three 25-16 as the Wildcats advanced to the State Tournament.

The third and final set saw the Cats total 12 kills and 12 assists with four aces. The offense continues to get better as time goes on as the Wildcats improve to 21-5 on the season.

Saint Ignatius will now take on the Centerville Elks at Pickerington Central High School in the State Quarterfinal. This will be another familiar team the Cats have faced as back on April 30 at the Elite 8 Tournament; the Wildcats defeated Centerville 3-1. First serve is at 3:15 p.m. The winner will advance to Championship Sunday and play the winner of Cincinnati Elder/Archbishop Moeller in the State Semifinal. ESP Media will stream all matches and more information can be found on their website.