Tritons sweep Redbirds in volleyball action
By Greg Bates
GREEN BAY – The Notre Dame Academy Tritons girls’ volleyball team couldn’t have opened its Fox River Classic Conference schedule in a more dominating fashion.
The Tritons never trailed visiting De Pere and scored a 25-17, 25-17, 25-8 victory Thursday, Sept. 9.
“The first game win gave us a boost of confidence for the rest of the season,” Notre Dame senior outside hitter Olivia Sullivan said. “Hopefully, that gives us some good momentum going into our next games.”
First-year head coach Lindsay Schauer also agreed with Sullivan.
“I thought we played well,” she said. “We came out with lots of heart, which we’ve been looking for, and we stayed consistent. That has been our biggest issue so far getting to this point. Those who were ready and eligible to play, played great. We (have) a deep bench.”
Notre Dame’s depth was evident, especially from its hitters.
The Tritons feature a balanced attack at the net and have a handful of players who can routinely put down a kill.
Sullivan led the way in this match with 11 kills.
“Much of it falls on our setters,” Schauer said. “They do a great job of using all hitters and being offensive themselves. Some of the plays Cadence (Maxfield) makes, you’d never see and expect. She’s making smart plays, and then she’s pushing away and beating the blockers –and Danielle (Dow). They’re both beating the block, which makes it easier for the hitters.”
The team is now 8-5 overall.
“We’ve been working hard on first-ball kills and our blocking,” Schauer said. “Everything they’ve learned in practice was effective. They put it into play tonight. I couldn’t have asked for anything else.”
De Pere showed its youth in the match.
Of the 13 regulars on last season’s roster, only one player is back for coach PJ Brocker.
“Hopefully, this can be a learning experience,” Brocker said. “We’ve got to learn how to get a quicker start and be able to handle quicker tempo offenses like Notre Dame is running.”
Notre Dame started fast in the opening set, going up 13-3.
De Pere (7-11, 0-1) cut its deficit to five, but the Tritons closed it out with a 25-17 win.
“There were some nerves where we struggled to settle in,” Brocker said. “Notre Dame did a great job of keeping us unsettled.”
In the second set, Notre Dame again came out hot, going up 8-3.
De Pere tied it 15-15 before the Tritons turned it up a notch, scoring the next six points.
Sullivan had three kills during that set-changing sequence.
“We talk about using our hot hitters, and (Sullivan) is often that player,” Schauer said. “She puts it down and makes a statement when she gets a kill. She’s slamming that ball, and that gets in the other team’s head. We love that.”
Sullivan said great sets by her teammates were key to her terminating the ball at big times.
“I was able to contact the ball nicely, and I had good timing,” she said. “Everything added together.”
Notre Dame finished the second set with another 25-17 victory, putting all the pressure on De Pere in the third.
The Tritons led 14-2 – the Redbirds’ two lone points came via service errors by Notre Dame – and coasted to a 25-8 thumping and sweep.
Jaqueline Zacharias led Notre Dame with three blocks.
The Tritons registered eight aces, with Maxfield and Hannah Greisen each having three.
Reese Mackey had a team-high four kills for De Pere.
Chloe Hansel added three kills and one block.