Notre Dame continues district dominance

Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Notre Dame's Alyssa Ruopp makes a dig on a hit by Dexter during Tuesday's Class 3 District 1 championship match in Dexter, Mo. (JERRY JARRELL ~ Dexter Daily Statesman)

DEXTER, Mo. -- Notre Dame grabbed title No. 7 in the last eight years.

And the team on the losing end was a familiar opponent.

Notre Dame won its seventh Class 3 District 1 volleyball title in the last eight years, and defeated host Dexter for the fourth consecutive year in the title match.

The Bulldogs rolled to the 25-16, 25-17 win Tuesday.

Kennett kept Notre Dame from its eighth title over the last eight years when it beat the Bulldogs in 2005.

Notre Dame's Alyssa Ruopp makes a dig on a hit by Dexter during Tuesday's Class 3 District 1 championship match in Dexter, Mo. (JERRY JARRELL ~ Dexter Daily Statesman)

Kennett, the No. 4 seed, wasn't so lucky this year as Notre Dame beat the Indians 25-11, 25-11 in the first semifinal Tuesday.

"We played pretty clean," Notre Dame coach Tara Stroup said after her team captured the title. "I've been reading about some other districts having some upsets. I told the girls tonight, 'Last week doesn't matter at all. We come in here with the No. 1 seed and we've got a big old bull's-eye on our back.'

"Everybody is looking to upset the No. 1 seed, so I was glad we played clean. I was afraid that with the nerves and stuff we might miss-hit a lot, miss-serve a lot, but it was good."

Notre Dame, ranked sixth in Class 3, fought off a strong challenge from Dexter in the first game, turning a slim 13-12 lead into a nine-point win with a 12-4 run to end the opener. The Bulldogs looked to end it early when they jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second game.

After trading points, Lindsay Strieker knocked down three of her eight kills in a 4-1 run that pushed the Bulldogs out to a commanding 12-5 advantage. Dexter responded with a four-point run that included two aces by Elisha Flanigan and a kill by Abbie Warren to make it a 12-9 Notre Dame advantage.

Shannon Brennan put a stop to Dexter's momentum with a kill. Meghan Dohogne then took charge and scored Notre Dame's next four points on three kills (nine for the match) and a clever dink shot around a kill by Warren to make it 17-11.

Dexter again rebounded and put three points together, but the Bulldogs finished on an 8-3 run to nail down the title.

It was the second win by Notre Dame over Dexter in a week.

Stroup, who won her 200th match at Notre Dame with the semifinal win against Kennett, singled out her two senior middle hitters, Dohogne and Strieker, after the win over Dexter.

"Those two seniors played real well tonight," she said. "They stepped up and they played a good game. We can pretty much count on them on a regular basis.

"[Dohogne] brings everything. Last year, she and Lindsay, the other middle, didn't play back row. They both improved on their passing and serve receive. I mean, Meghan, she's the vocal leader on the court. She's our captain. She does it all. She has been a very important player for three years on varsity."

Notre Dame will play in the 4:30 p.m. sectional Saturday at DeSoto High School.

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