Walsh volleyball team keeps rolling to state
By Jeff Gorman
CUYAHOGA FALLS — The Walsh Jesuit High School volleyball team advanced to the Division II State Volleyball Tournament semifinals Nov. 4 with a win over Olmsted Falls High School.
After breezing through the postseason, the Lady Warriors faced their first strong challenge in recording a 25-20, 26-24, 20-25, 25-22 win.
“I could tell Olmsted Falls came in with a game plan that they executed well,” said Walsh Coach Missy Christ. “They threw things at us that we hadn’t seen before, like tipped balls to the soft spots of our defense.”
Senior Katie Dull led Walsh with 36 kills, and senior Rachel Rodriguez added 58 assists.
“Rachel did a great job as our setter,” said Christ. “That job is very under-rated, as it doesn’t come with a lot of fame or glory.
“Actually, it’s like the job of a quarterback,” she added, “since you have to run the plays and be a leader.”
In the regional semifinals, the Lady Warriors scored a surprisingly easy win over undefeated Salem High School 25-15, 25-21 and 25-10 at Stow Munroe Falls High School Oct. 31.
“We knew Salem would come in confident, and we had to give them respect because they were undefeated,” said Christ. “It helped that we scheduled a lot of tough competition throughout the year.”
Dull led Walsh with 23 kills. Also, her serving led to seven straight points for the Lady Warriors in the third game.
“Katie played phenomenally,” said Christ. “This was one of her best matches of the year.”
The Lady Warriors will play in the state semifinals against Sunbury Big Walnut High School Nov. 10 at Wright State University. The two teams also met in the final four last year. Big Walnut won the first two games before Walsh won the last three.
“That is going to be a grudge match,” Christ said. “We have seven seniors back from that game, and they have six.”
If the Lady Warriors get past Big Walnut, they will advance to the state finals at Wright State Nov. 11 at 4 p.m. The Lady Warriors reached that point last year before losing to Cincinnati Roger Bacon High School.
“Roger Bacon lost this year in the regional finals to Kettering Alter,” Christ noted. “In the past few years, whoever wins that Cincinnati regional has gone on to win state.”