(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
CAPE GIRARDEAU -- It was more like a heavyweight title bout than a Class 3, District 1 volleyball championship match at Notre Dame High School on Tuesday night.
The high-powered teams of the Dexter Bearcats and the Notre Dame Lady Bulldogs exchanged blows in two sets with the Lady Bulldogs coming out on top 25-18 and 25-22 to win the district championship.
The Lady Bulldogs were able to grab a small lead early in each set that they were able to drag out throughout the match.
Dexter threatened the Lady Bulldogs lead many times in the match, but Notre Dame seemed to find a way to keep their advantage.
At one point in the first set, Notre Dame rattled off six straight points to make it a 19-11 game. Even though Dexter was able to rally back and make it a 21-18 game just right after that, the Lady Bulldogs put the game away four points later to win the first set.
"We were a little bit shaky at times," Notre Dame head coach Tara Stroup said. "But, we have a good blocking team and we were able to cut out a little bit of their offense."
It was more of the same during the second set. Notre Dame's Dohogne and Lindsay Strieker accounted for eight points off of kills in the set to, again, break away with a lead. Dexter struck another rally but it was too late. The Lady Bulldogs were one point away from victory until Dexter strung together three consecutive points to make it 24-22, but a Dexter penalty ended the match.
"Our goal for tonight was to play Notre Dame a better game than what we showed them in regular season," Vandeven said. "The girls came out strong and put up a fight, but we just came up a little short."
Earlier in the year, Notre Dame handed Dexter their last regular season loss with a 25-13, 25-16 win.
"I thought that they (Dexter) hustled tonight," Stroup said. "I knew they would. The game that we played against them last time I don't think really quite reflected what they were capable of."
Cathryn Heil and Jessica Satterfield led the Lady Bearcats with seven kills a piece, while Abbie Warren added five kills. Satterfield also had four digs, four blocks and seven assists. Heil added 10 digs and eight assists.
Dexter defeated Fredericktown in a hard-fought semifinal match earlier in the night 25-12, 25-20.
Heil, Satterfield and Kayla Joyner finished their senior season with a 22-7-3 record.