Bulldogs succumb to Lancers

Sunday, November 2, 2008

DE SOTO -- The third time was not the charm for the Notre Dame volleyball team Saturday.

The Bulldogs were sent packing for the third year in a row by Lutheran South. The Lancers defeated Notre Dame 17-25, 25-23, 25-14 in the Class 3 sectional at De Soto High School.

"This year was a little different," Bulldogs coach Tara Stroup said. "We had a great season and really felt that we had a legitimate shot at winning and getting to state."

This was the first year in the last three that Notre Dame had won a game against the Lancers.

The Bulldogs fell in the sectional round last year 25-14, 27-25 and lost in the quarterfinals in 2006, 25-21, 25-13.

"I didn't think there was one dominant team in this sectional this season," Stroup said. "I thought any of the four teams could win this."

It looked early on like Notre Dame might be that team as it won the first game 25-17 and had a 15-10 lead in the second game.

"We knew we had to play hard to win," Notre Dame senior Kelsey Bradshaw said. "A few things went their way and they got the momentum."

Lutheran South came back from the 15-10 deficit in the second game to go ahead 24-17. But the final point of the second game was hard to come by as the Bulldogs scored six straight points on the serve of junior Meghan Dohogne to pull to within a point at 24-23. But a kill by Lutheran South's Rachel Hofmann finally gave the Lancers the game.

Lutheran South carried over the momentum of the second-game win and took a big early lead in the third game. The closest that the Bulldogs could get at the end was 21-14.

"Before we came up here, we talked about going out and playing as hard as we could, win or lose," Stroup said. "I felt the effort was there. The girls battled back the whole match when they were down and did not quit.

"We were a little nervous at the start, but it looked like Lutheran South might be even more nervous. I have to give them credit. They really picked it up when they needed to."

Notre Dame, which came into the sectional with the best record of the four teams, finished the 2008 season with a 27-6 record.

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