By: Lilliana Gutierrez
The Saints JV volleyball started their 2019 season off with a 2 sets to 0 win over the Peoria Centennial Coyotes. The team is coming off of an eight-win season in 2018. This year, the Saints’ starting lineup for their first game included four sophomores, #8 Emma Keller, #7 Keira Ryan, #11 Ashleigh Bolton, and #1 Neveen Francis, and two freshmen, #15 Kennedy Graninger and #9 Lindsay Ritz.
The match started off with an ace from Ryan, who helped the Saints get a 5-0 lead in the first set before the Coyotes. The girls struggled containing the outside hitters from Centennial, but they ended up winning a very close first set 25-21.
The second set continued with the strong outside hitting of Centennial, but the Saints fought back thanks to Bolton and her powerful spikes. Notre Dame kept up the strong fight throughout the second set against Centennial’s hard-hitting outside players to win the match 2 sets to 0.
After the match, Bolton said, “I feel that the season is going really well and that we have a pretty strong team and an amazing coach that can teach us a lot. My hopes for the rest of the season is that we can win against some of the higher seeded teams like Horizon and Cactus Shadows.”
“I’m really excited with how our season has been going so far. The JV team this year is almost completely different from the team last year, but we have already gelled so well,” Ryan commented when asked about the success of the team thus far. She continued by saying, “My hopes for the rest of the season are that we continue to battle this uphill journey and depend on each other when we face obstacles.”