The Notre Dame Varsity Volleyball team finished second at the very challenging Macomb Dakota tournament over the weekend, going 4-1-1 on the day. The Irish, 11-2-2, have played 7 top-10 ranked (classes A and B) matches thus far on the young season.
Notre Dame started the day with a split against Marysville, currently ranked 6th in Class B. The Irish dropped the opening set 25-23 and then came back strong to take the second set 25-12 Natalie Risi collected 10 kills, 6 service points and 5 digs while Maddy Chinn added 8 kills and 4 points and 11 digs. In spite of losing two players to illness and injury, the Irish rebounded from the split with the Vikings to take Flushing in straights sets 25-19 and 25-18. Chinn led the offense with 17 kills while Morgan Verheyen and Gaby Shillings added 13 and 10 respectively.. Notre Dame then took on an undefeated team from Midland. The Irish had to beat the Chemics in straight sets to come out as the top seed from their pool. The Irish would do just that as theydominated at the net with 26 kills and at the service line where they had 9 aces on their way to a 25-15, 25-17 victory. Chinn collected 8 aces to go with her 9 kills. Shilling and Taylor Raiola added 6 kills each.
For the second week in a row the Irish advanced to the gold bracket. In their quarterfinal match, Notre Dame took on Marian, who is ranked 6th in class A. It took three sets but the Irish downed the Mustangs 25-18, 22-25 and 15-8. Chinn (12), Risi (8) and Raiola (6) led the charge at the net while Lauren Burnick dished out 21 assists. Raiola also served up 11 points while Risi added 10 digs in the winning effort.
Notre Dame then faced the #3 team in Class A, Lake Orion, who had defeated the Irish in 3 sets earlier this week. Notre Dame pulled out the first set 25-22 before falling 25-11 in the second. The third set saw the teams battle point for point, with neither team able to pull away. With the score 12-12 (the 9th tied score of the final set) the Irish were finally able to put a 3-point streak together to take the set and match 15-12. Burnick once again distributed the ball for a balanced attack as Chinn (8), Verheyen (6), Raiola (6) Risi (5) and Shilling (4, including 2 of the final 3 points) each contributed in the kill department.
The final match brought the 3rd straight ranked Class A team and proved to be a bit to much for the Irish as Mercy (#5) dominated the match winning 25-19 and 25-16. Risi served up 4 points and had 7 kills in the losing effort.