Published November 8, 2012
For the second year in a row the Golden Lions of St. Pius X reached the state volleyball finals after defeating Woodward Academy 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-21) in the semifinal match.
This year their opponent was fellow Catholic high school Blessed Trinity, which defeated St. Pius 3-0 in the Nov. 3 state finals at Marietta High School, to win its third state championship in six years. Blessed Trinity also hoisted the championship trophy in 2006 and 2010.
Each game was as close as the next, with only two points as the margin of victory. In the first of a three-set match, St. Pius actually held a 24-23 lead, but a critical dig, followed by a crucial block, turned the momentum in Blessed Trinity’s favor, and they pulled the set out 26-24.
St. Pius jumped out to a 7-1 advantage in the second set, but Blessed Trinity eventually tied it up at 14. St. Pius pulled back out to a 22-18 lead, but a 7-1 run by Blessed Trinity eventually pushed them to a 25-23 victory in the second set.
In a third set nail-biter the two squads went back and forth swapping runs. After a 12-12 tie, no team could extend a lead beyond two points. St. Pius reached set points at 24-23, 25-24, 26-25, and 28-27, but Blessed Trinity was able to hold them off and win each point. Blessed Trinity converted their match point at 29-28 to win the third set 30-28.
Junior Molly McAlvany and senior Jessica Holler led Blessed Trinity with 12 kills each. Sophomores Maggie Rick and Amber MacDonald led the team with 34 assists and 17 digs, respectively. Senior Ashley MacDonald’s only point of the match occurred when she came off the bench on match point and served out the winning point.
Blessed Trinity finished the season with an astounding overall record of 54-2.
Head coach Paul Stevens, who just completed his 10th season at Blessed Trinity, reached his 350th career win midway through the season and finished it with 379 career wins. Stevens was also named the Area Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year for a team that’s won the area championship three consecutive years.