The Villa Duchesne volleyball team has become a road show of sorts. Every other year, the Saints visit their sister school, Duchesne Academy in Omaha. Next Oct. 19, they have been invited to the prestigious Aquinas tournament in Kansas City, joining powerful St. Joseph’s Academy, Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission, KS), St. Teresa’s Academy of KC and others on the guest list.
What the Saints almost became Saturday was road kill. Left for nearly dead, after dropping to sets to Duchesne Academy 25-15 and 25-22, they roared back and defeated the Nebraskan's with scores of 25-19, 25-23 and 15-7 in a five-set match.
See lots more game action photos on the Ladue-Frontenac Facebook page.
High school rules call for first to 15 in the fifth set tie breaker. That was fine with Shane Weber and his team. Both teams had a second match with Incarnate Word Academy in a tri-team event later that day.
Weber substituted liberally searching for combinations to slow down the visiting Cardinals’ attack. He pressed JV 6-footer Cassie Delicath into the fray.
The Saints got really solid performances from Marisa Drevenak , a sophomore and senior captain Sydney Sabino. Sabino led the back line with numerous digs and saves.
Maggie Schroeder, Riley Lawrence and Meghan Donovan performed admirably upfront with Kim Thro and Amy Federer helping off the bench.
The Saints had to show a lot of gumption to come back.
“We were down to sets and we’ve had difficulty coming back in the past. We did and we persevered and glad we did it.
The 9 a.m. start found the Saints a little caught up with cobwebs. “We started off slow but we definitely finished strong,” and I’m happy about that,” said the senior captain.
So too was coach Shane Weber.
“We’ve been working on our middle ground and find out where we need to be. We want to find that even keel. We’ve been a little bit like a slinky. We’re up and down a little bit. We learned that if we are resilient and play together, we can win.
Weber dipped to his reserves to win.
“Right, I put Cassie (Delicath) in there to give us some help on the right side. Then we moved her into the middle. Her coming in was key to us just giving them a different look.
Weber had words of praise for Drevenak and Sabino in particular. “At the net Marissa was pretty much unstoppable in that match. Sydney made some digs in the back row and passed so well. She’s a solid player. Her errors come few and far between."
Villa improved to 18-8 while Duchesne Academy lost for just the 4th time and the Cardinals were 17-4 after the match.