Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy volleyball sweeps through Notre Dame

LA CAÑADA — The Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy volleyball team notched a big win Tuesday evening in a Mission League match with visiting Sherman Oaks Notre Dame.

The two squads went into the match with identical records in league play and it was evident in an opening see-saw game. Ultimately, the Tologs prevailed in the tightly contested frame and went on to win the next two more handily in a 25-21, 25-12, 25-19 sweep.

It is the third straight victory for the Tologs, who have matches against Mission League-winless Chaminade and Alemany before a rematch with first-place Harvard-Westlake on Oct. 24.

In the meantime, Flintridge Sacred Heart Coach Ernest Banaag likes the progression his team is making.

“Right now, we’re just feeling it,” said Banaag whose team improved to 11-3 overall and is in second place in the Mission League at 3-1. “We’re confident in our ability to play against tough teams.”

The Tologs and Knights (7-6, 2-2) played to 10 tie scores in the first game, as neither team could create separation. Flintridge Sacred Heart, however, never trailed after tying the score at nine points apiece early on.

Megan Bacall picked up two clutch kills with the teams trading points late in the frame. The junior middle blocker’s second kill in the stretch gave the Tologs a 19-18 lead —one that would be maintained, soon giving way to a 23-20 advantage, the largest lead of the game by either team. Katie Conley clinched the win with two consecutive kills.

Conley finished the match with eight kills on 16 swings, an impressive .500 clip.

“We’re coming out strong—the first six points I think it was,” Banaag said. “We wanted to set the tone and say ‘this is our house.’ That’s our mentality.”

The second game looked to play out similarly to the first after four ties through the game’s first 12 points. Flintridge Sacred Heart used a 5-0 run to give itself an 11-7 lead, and one that would not be relinquished. The Tologs scored seven unanswered shortly after for a comfortable 19-10 margin, and finished the game taking 13 of the final 15 points.

FSHA carried the momentum into the third game, jumping out to a 9-0 lead. Notre Dame answered with six straight, but the Tologs wouldn’t falter and soon led, 16-7, midway through. The Knights never let up, either, cutting the Tologs lead to as little as one at the 19-18 mark. Kayla Lund answered with two consecutive kills and picked up three of her six in the game down the stretch, aiding to complete the sweep.

“We push through together as a team,” Lund said. “Sophia [Coffey] got the sets where they needed to be for the hitters. As a team, we played well.”

Coffey led the Tologs with 26 assists. The team defense was solid, totaling nine blocks against a hard-hitting Notre Dame squad. Emily Develle’s 20 digs paced the Tologs.

Flintridge Sacred Heart began the season winning seven straight and the first six without giving up a game. The current three-match winning streak is the longest since.

“We’re using the wins to our advantage and coming out strong,” Lund said. “We come out with energy and the hopefulness that we can win the match.”

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