Despite the throes of a grueling nail-biter against a team many consider to be the class of the Catholic League, the Holy Trinity girls volleyball team celebrated with endless energy once the final point struck the hardwood.
The Titans overcame a loss in the opening set to defeat visiting St. John the Baptist, 21-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-22, in CHSAA Tuesday night. A bevy of contributors sparked Holy Trinity, though it was Maggie Lavelle’s powerful hits and Amanda Colon’s reliable defense that led the way.
“We wanted to take down St. John’s because they are such a strong team,” Lavelle said. “They had an undefeated record, so I’m just really proud.”
Lavelle paced the offense with 14 kills, while Julia Coyle-Romano (eight kills) and Kate Murphy (seven) played key roles. Olga Muka (30 assists) and Jackie O’Neill (25) were integral to the attack, chasing down passes and making accurate ones themselves. Colon was the anchor of a stalwart defense with 20 digs.
“They were the No. 1 team, and we wanted to take it to them,” Colon said. “We want to take it to the championship. It’s what we’ve wanted to do since the beginning of the season.”
Holy Trinity (5-1), which last won a championship in 2007, got off to a rocky start in the opening set. Emily Meyer (13 kills) and Bridgette Moran (10) posed constant problems for the Holy Trinity defense, combining both strength and accuracy to find holes.
St. John’s (5-1) appeared to be in control of the second set with a six-point lead, until Erin Horan toed the service line for the Titans. She rattled off eight straight service points, giving her team a 22-20 lead en route to tying the match.
A comeback from a 10-2 hole in the third showcased SJB’s resolve, but after narrowing the deficit to 19-17, the Cougars couldn’t move any closer.
An epic fourth set which had 13 ties — with the last one coming at 18-18 — ended when Jaclyn Seidl sent an offering between the SJB blockers for the winner.
“After we lost the first set, we wanted to get right back to it,” Colon said. “We wanted to win.”
Now having beaten St. Anthony’s (1-2) and SJB, the Titans have their eyes on Kellenberg (4-1), the defending league champs.
“I think the next step is beating Kellenberg,” Lavelle said. “I think coming off this, we can do it.”
Given the landscape of the Catholic League, it should be nothing short of thrilling.