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Notre Dame sweeps Preble on court

By Greg Bates
Sports Editor
GREEN BAY – The Notre Dame Academy girls’ volleyball team is showing early in its season it can be a serious contender to win the Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC) title.
The Tritons were pushed at times by Green Bay Preble on Thursday night, but the home team pulled off a sweep, 25-19, 25-22, 25-19.
Notre Dame opened its conference slate a week early by scoring a five-set victory over Green Bay Southwest.
Tritons setter Alivia Jeanquart thinks her team is in the mix for the conference crown.
“I’m hoping that’s the vibe we’re putting out there,” Jeanquart said.
Jeanquart noted there are a number of keys to why the Tritons are playing well in FRCC play.
“I think definitely our communication and energy, just keeping it up as we like kept moving,” Jeanquart said. “We just had to get on that roll and then we were going.”
A big reason Notre Dame is playing well in its conference schedule is because it has been pushed in nonconference matches.
The previous weekend, the Tritons traveled to the Germantown Invite and 1-2 against good competition. It fell to state-ranked Pewaukee as well as Port Washington and beat Whitnall.
“Our biggest takeaway after the weekend — again, tough losses — was just finding a way to get out of the tough moments, especially when we’re struggling. Who can be that person for it?” Notre Dame coach Katrina Costello said. “I think that’s going to continue to be our focus throughout the season is finding that one person that can really help us in a rut.”
It was a total effort for Notre Dame (8-8, 2-0 FRCC) against Preble (3-8, 0-2).
The Tritons were pushed point for point in the opening set. The Hornets tied the set at 19-19 before Notre Dame tallied the final six points to pull off the 25-19 win.
In the second set, Notre Dame held a comfortable 12-2 advantage before Preble crept back into it. The Hornets came all the way back to tie the game at 22. That’s when Notre Dame took over.
Isabella Ricci registered a kill to put her team one point; the Tritons didn’t look back in a 25-22 victory.
Preble jumped out to a 7-2 advantage in the third, but Notre Dame scored nine of the next 12 points to take a 12-11 lead. The Hornets didn’t get any closer than one point as the Tritons closed down the third on an 11-6 run. The final score ended up 25-19.
“Our serve receive really came through that last game, giving us opportunities to go into offense, which put more stress on their defense,” Preble coach Brian Van Den Plas said. “We made a setter change after that second game. We needed a little bit more energy from what we were getting and for us, the girls really responded — not to the level of winning, but to be super competitive.”
Even when the match was close at the end of the third, Costello was supporting his players.
“Our huddles in between are just huge,” Costello said. “We really have to try to refocus on what our goal is and reminding them every single time what we are accomplishing and what we want to accomplish and what that’s going to take. I think in that third set we tried to come out really strong
knowing they weren’t just going to give us the match and we had to execute and be aggressive on the net and defensively just pick it up a little bit.”
Notre Dame was led by Ricci with eight kills. Hannah Greisen, Sidney Whitehouse and Jaqueline Zacharias all had five kills.
Jeanquart led the way with 17 assists. Madelyn Wolfram came through with 17 digs for Notre Dame.
Preble got five kills each from Andrea Butterbrodt and Mia Racine. Faith Vang had 15 digs and Aislinn Kong added 12.

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