Patriots Volleyball Closes in on their Pinnacle

With a chance to advance to the championship game on the line, the Volleyball Patriots (21-13, 11-7 MSC) squared off against the Lindsey Wilson Blue Raiders (36-3, 18-0 MSC).

After dominating the third set (25-12) against the Bears of Shawnee State, the St. Catharine Lady Patriots felt confident about their chances in their contest with the #1 seed Lindsey Wilson Blue Raiders. Dropping the first set 25-6, the Patriots rallied behind Allie Southard (Louisville, Ky.) and her 12 kills, to keep the Patriots within striking distance. However, the early hole became insurmountable as the Patriots fell in set two 25-19. Trailing 2-0 the Patriots showed their perseverance, trading point for point with the Blue Raiders keeping their hopes alive. After an inspired effort in set three, the Patriots could not complete the rally as they fell 25-20.

The 2013 season featured many peaks and valleys for the Lady Patriots, as they were able to accomplish many new feats. Their loss in the conference semi-final marked the deepest run in school history for conference tournament play and the fourth place finish is the highest obtained by any volleyball team on record. With 11 conference wins, Head Coach Jason McDannold was selected as the Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year. The Patriot skipper took the position with the knowledge of the previous year’s unfortunate circumstances, but never let it detour his dream of building the program into something successful. With a brutal conference schedule, the Patriots found success as no team outside of the top three in the conference defeated the Patriots more than once. In fact, the only loss outside of the top three came to Shawnee State, who the Patriots defeated in their next two meetings 3-0.

Statistically, the Patriots were nationally recognized for their blocking ability; the Patriots finished in the top 20 for both total blocks (288.5) and blocks per game (2.33). Leading the way for the Patriots in nearly every statistical category Allie Southard earned national and conference recognition for her effort. Southard finished the season 11th in blocks per game (1.18), 13th in total blocks (142), and 23rd in hitting percentage (.349), all of which contributed to her selection the All Mid-South Conference First Team. Joining her on the First Team roster, Shauna Stone (Bardstown, Ky.) ranked 41st in hitting percentage nationally with a .323. In addition, Stone completed her sophomore season with 279 kills (second highest behind Southard), 41 digs, and 62 blocks. Securing a spot on the All Mid-South Conference Second Team, Rebecca Just (Louisville, Ky.) ripped off 269 kills, 272 digs, and 31 blocks. For Just, the highlight of the season came when she accounted for 21 kills and 10 digs against the University of the Cumberland’s, helping to secure a St. Catharine victory. Rounding out the front row for the Patriots, Cat Hall (Louisville, Ky.) finished the year with 234 kills and 110 blocks while Casey Stone (Princeton, Ky.) contributed 218 kills and 60 blocks. Freshman standout Erin Cottrell (Somerset, Ky.) appeared in 77 sets, nailing down 100 kills in her first season of play. Supporting the front row with assists Abbey Sorrells (Elizabethtown, Ky.) scored 1321 of the Patriot’s 1321 assists on the year for a .501 average.

Defensively the Patriots found leadership in their sole senior Randa Murphy (Greensburg, Ky.), as she tallied a team high 396 digs in her 103 sets played. Following closely behind, sophomore transfer Jodie Klein (Louisville, Ky.) made her presence known in the back row with 313 digs in 118 sets played.

In 2014 the Patriots will return all but one starter to a squad the set the new standard in St. Catharine volleyball. With the graduation of Randa Murphy, the Patriots will count on Jodie Klein to fill the role of libero. Heading into the spring season confidence is high, as the Patriots will have five seniors for the upcoming season, all of which have been four year athletes for the Patriots. The Patriots will kick their 2014 year off in early August and look to pick up where they left off in 2013.

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