Perryville volleyball team outlasts Notre Dame

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Notre Dame's Sarah Lawrence, left, and Kate Edwards go up for a block against Perryville's Shea Leible during the second game of their match Monday at Notre Dame Regional High School. Perryville won 25-16, 16-25, 26-24. (Kristin Eberts)

Monday night's game between Perryville and host Notre Dame was exactly what you'd expect from two district rivals.

For the second time this year, the Pirates got the best of the Bulldogs.

Perryville got off to a hot start, struggled in Game 2, and held on during a roller coaster Game 3 for a 25-16, 16-25, 26-24 win.

"The first game we really came out to play and Notre Dame was a little bit off, and the second game was vice versa," Perryville coach Dave Mirly said. "It was just two great teams ready to play, and when that happens it's going to be a great volleyball game."

Added Perryville senior Shea Leible: "It's a big game for us. We came out ready to play, and I think it showed."

Perryville's Shea Leible, left, Natalie Gremaud, Alex Spears and Ashley Bachmann celebrate a point during their match Monday against Notre Dame. Perryville won in three games. More photos from the match can be viewed online at (Kristin Eberts)

The Pirates (22-2) looked unstoppable early. They jumped out to a 6-1 lead in Game 1 and never were threatened.

Perryville dominated at the net.

"I think we had a little bit of nerves the first game," Notre Dame coach Tara Stroup said. "Knowing this is one of our bigger rivals and this is probably going to be a district matchup. We just started off a little flat. We were trying to tip.

"I was telling them in a timeout, Kate [Edwards] has got our most kills for the season, and her first two complete rotations through she did not swing at a ball. We were just trying to tip everything. We didn't get our offense going until halfway through the first game."

The second game was a reversal as the Bulldogs (13-6) made adjustments and controlled the net.

Notre Dame darted out to a 7-1 lead to set the tone.

"I felt like we got settled down a little bit and started trying to hit," Stroup said. "We started out the second game a lot stronger, a lot more aggressive."

The Pirates cut it to 12-8, but the Bulldogs pulled away to a 20-10 advantage and went on to win the game.

"The first game we were able to control our passes and get the ball up to our net so we could set it," Mirly said. "And the second game we couldn't do that, and with Notre Dame's hitters, if you can't attack them, you're just not going to win."

After each team had a comfortable 25-16 win to its credit, the rivals duked it out in Game 3.

Perryville broke an 8-8 tie with three straight points, but Notre Dame pulled even at 11-11.

The two teams traded point for point until 16-16.

The Pirates then took advantage of three Bulldog errors to pull ahead 19-16.

"The third game was definitely a roller coaster," Leible said. "We were up and down, up and down. Overall we stayed pumped. We stayed ready to play. Never once does our team say we quit. That's not even an option. Our team never quits. We never let up."

The Bulldogs weren't finished. Notre Dame rattled off four straight points to take a 20-19 lead.

The Pirates answered with four straight points, including kills by Kaylie Hadler and Leible, for a 23-20 lead.

The Pirates attacked from all angles with upperclassmen and younger players in Game 3.

"Kristen Triller played an amazing game tonight," Pirate junior Natalie Gremaud said. "They could not stop her. They got one block on her the whole night, I think. Kaylie Hadler, she came in [when] one of our players got a little tweak in her ankle, and she came in and got a kill for us. That helped us out a lot.

"Last year at this time we did not win this game. Last year at this time we peaked at this time. We haven't peaked yet. We're going to keep going."

Notre Dame's Miranda Fowler had a spike to make it 23-21, but a block by the Bulldogs went out of bounds to give Perryville match point.

"I had a feeling that the third game was going to be like that," Stroup said. "I knew the third game was going to be point, point, point. I think we really wanted to win, and we played hard. Once it got to be in the 20s like that, that it could go either way on just like a mishap at the net or something like that."

The Bulldogs pulled even at 24-24 on a Kate Edward's tip, a Perryville error and a Brooke Bohnert block.

But the Pirates took the next two points on a Bulldog error and a Gremaud block to win the match.

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