Not a lot of volleyball talk here so might as well have all Divisions under one thread.
Independence has one of the best Liberos in the country and are a state contender in Div III so its not like Padua was playing some chumps. But something was up with that match, they lost the first two sets in close fashion but then beat Independence 25-12, 25-10 15-4 so they imposed their will probably after some spirited remarks from BeHarry.Padua is strong but they have many tough teams from the South as well as Ursula. Their bracket is not strong early and other teams will get better competition along the way. Grafton group has 4 top 20 teams in the State just in that district. Padua is only ranked team in their district. Padua just struggled with Independence last week. Lotsa great matchups the next few weeks!
That was their third match in 5 days and the second half of a back-to-back stretch (with one more match the next night), so it could have been that they had tired legs or they could have tried to go with more of their bench. Not sure exactly what happened and I was assuming that the championship would be a rematch, but it looks like Ursuline is in the same half of the regional bracket as Padua, so they would end up meeting in the semi-finals, not the finals.Independence has one of the best Liberos in the country and are a state contender in Div III so its not like Padua was playing some chumps. But something was up with that match, they lost the first two sets in close fashion but then beat Independence 25-12, 25-10 15-4 so they imposed their will probably after some spirited remarks from BeHarry.
Coffman took them 5 in 2017 and while they beat Padua 3-0 in 2018 they were competitive games in 25-19, 25-23, 25-23.If Ursuline gets back their outside hitter/DS that got hurt they will be a better team. Missing a player that plays all the way around is tough to overcome. MND continues to get stronger because they have several underclassmen that play important roles on their team. It will be good to see some stronger competition at the State Final 4 because Ursuline pretty much was not challenged the past two seasons once they won their Regional.
That #1 national ranking put a bulls eye right on Padua. Good for them that they were able to pull out a couple of tough 4 setters the past two matches against some high level comp.D1 Semis: St. Francis DeSales rolls over Solon in straight sets. Padua wins in 4 sets in what sounded like a pretty major battle over Mount Notre Dame.