GENEVA — The St. Cecilia volleyball team met a familiar opponent Saturday in the championship match of the Fillmore Central Invite.
The Hawkettes got to play Lincoln Christian, a team that beat St. Cecilia 27-25, 23-25, 26-24 to open the season on Sept. 1. On Saturday, the Crusaders against swept the Hawkettes 25-23, 25-16 to win the tournament.
“Lincoln Christian is a good athletic team and they hustle for everything,” said St. Cecilia coach Thera Jones.
The Hawkettes opened the match by taking an early 5-1 lead in set one behind a kill by senior Claire Rasmussen and a block and kill by senior Lucy Skoch. Rasmussen would tally four kills for the Hawkettes in the first set.
“Claire is just a tough player, she’s smart and always thinking,” Jones said. “She’s always thinking positive and just a great leader for us and she played well today.”
The Crusaders had some rotation issues early in the set and the Hawkettes were able to capitalize on some errors to hold a tight lead.
The Crusaders would gain their first lead of the set on a kill by junior Abby Stutz on an overpass from the Hawkettes.
The lead would go back and forth with both teams playing well at the net. With the score tied at 21, Rasmussen would serve an ace followed by a block by Skoch and sophomore Lexi Vertin.
The Hawkettes were up 23-21 before the Crusaders would go on a 4-0 run to end the set.
The Crusaders were able to utilize their height at the net getting back-to-back blocks by Stutz and fellow junior Avery Dolliver. The Crusaders would win set one 25-23.
Set number two started exaxtly like the first with St. Cecilia taking a 5-1 lead that included an ace serve by freshman setter Makenna Asher and a kill from Skoch.
The Crusaders then would go on a 9-4 run with kills coming from four different hitters. The Hawkettes battled back on kills from Asher, Rasmussen and freshman Tori Thomas.
With the score tied at 12-12, the Hawkettes would get a big block by freshman Chloe McCauley and Skoch to take a one-point lead midway through the set.
The Crusaders would go on a 7-0 run behind the play of Dolliver, who tallied four kills in the run, and also a block with Stutz.
Behind 22-15, the Hawkettes would get one more kill from Thomas but the gap was too much to overcome. The Crusaders (9-1) would score the last three points of the match to win 25-16.
“We played hard, but we just made mistakes at the worst possible times,” said Jones, whose team is now 7-4. “We are dealing with a few injuries and I think our age maybe got the best of us this match. But all in all we had a good day and a really good week of volleyball. I think this will be a good learning experience for us.”
Fillmore Central finished third in the tournament. After losing the first match to St. Cecilia 25-16, 25-11, the Panthers would go on to beat Milford 25-7, 25-15 to advance to the consolation game against Wilbur-Clatonia, winning that match 25-14, 25-21.