In an intense game against the Cactus Shadows Falcons, Notre Dame Prep’s JV volleyball team gave it their all but fell short by only a few points. NDP and Cactus Shadows faced off once before this, so they knew what they were going up against. 

In the first set, NDP kicked off the match with excellent defense. Sophomore Neveen Francis, the libero on Notre Dame’s team, had amazing ball control and kept the hard hits in check when they came her way. Their defensive tactics were strong, with several blocks from the middle and outside hitters, freshman Gracey Lambrecht and sophomores Raegan Fox and Keira Ryan.   

On the Cactus Shadows offensive side, freshman middle hitter Gianna Palmer made untouchable kills along with freshman outside hitter Howdy Hawkins. Within the first five minutes of the game, it was tied 5-5. The rallies between both teams were tough and concluded in players hitting the floor or cheering loudly because of their epic play. Fifteen minutes into the set and the Saints took a timeout with the score 17-21. Unfortunately, this first set was taken by Cactus Shadows 

Just like Notre Dame’s playing style, Cactus Shadows likes to leave in players for the whole set and only occasionally switch out them out. Notre Dame started off the second set serving.  In a short period of time, Notre Dame secured a three-point lead (the score being 6-3). NDP’s Ryan, Fox, and sophomore Ashleigh Bolton make an amazing offensive trio, Bolton being a setter and Ryan and Fox as outside hitters.  All girls are very skilled in each aspect of the game and know how to handle strong defensive players. 

While Cactus Shadows fell behind in the beginning, their defensive tactics kicked into overdrive. Falcon’s libero Gianna Procoppio had some unforgettable saves as she backed up her teammates.  Plus, the serving by Cactus Shadows is what continuously kept them in the match.

NDP took the lead towards the end of the third set. Cactus Shadows took a timeout with the score at 19-17 and came back to gain two straight points, making the set tied at 19-19. After more tough rallies for both teams, NDP took a timeout with the score at 24-21 and Cactus Shadows winning. In the final plays, Lambrecht made a saving tip to give her team one more chance at redemption. 

With the score at 24-22, NDP served the ball over, but Bolton failed to dig the ball after an amazing kill by the Falcons’ right-side hitter. Cactus Shadows has won their second match against NDP, 3 sets to 0.