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Notre Dame knocks off Borgia for semifinal berth
FESTUS, Mo. -- Notre Dame advanced to the final four of the Class 3 state tournament for the first time in school history and exacted revenge along the way.
The Bulldogs defeated St. Francis Borgia, the team that knocked Notre Dame out of the first round of the playoffs last year, 26-24, 20-25, 25-14 in the quarterfinals at Festus High School on Saturday.
Notre Dame, No. 1 in the SEMO Top 10 poll, was down 23-20 in the first game but battled back after facing game point to take the first game 26-24.
"We stayed up and didn't get down, which had been a problem all season," Notre Dame coach Tara Stroup said.
Sommer McCauley had 12 assists, seven kills and nine digs to lead Notre Dame. Emily Buehrle had seven digs and 13 kills. Alison Essner added 13 assists.
"Sommer played awesome, Emily played awesome, the whole team was awesome," Stroup said. "I'm really proud of our effort."
Notre Dame defeated St. Pius earlier in the day in the sectional round 28-26, 25-17.
Buehrle led the Bulldogs with six digs and eight kills. McCauley had 11 assists and Essner added eight. Laura Brown had five kills.
Notre Dame will play Duchesne in the first game of the round-robin format semifinals Friday at Warrensburg, Mo. The other semifinal will feature Pleasant Hill and O'Hara.
Notre Dame's highest finish was fourth place in the 2001 Class 2 tournament, the team's only other trip to a state semifinals.