In a premier Saturday morning matchup on the volleyball court, two of the most talented
teams under The YSN banner squared-off, with The Austintown-Fitch Falcons traveling up to Barry Gym to battle The Archbishop Hoban Knights! The Falcons were coming fresh off a straight set sweep of Ursuline to hand The Irish their first loss of the season. On the other side, The Knights had been rolling, winning the first ten matches of the season and holding a 17 set win streak against some of the toughest competition throughout the region.
With the stage set for this big matchup, the first set did not disappoint! Both teams held the lead for considerable time in the early to middle portions of the opening set. With Fitch beginning to pull away at 17-14 in the set, The Knights focused up and battled it back to even at 18-18. Both teams continued exchanging points back-and-forth until they were knotted up again 21-21. With Fitch owning a 24-23 set lead and the serve, Hoban’s Amber Watson delivered a big time kill to tie it up 24-24 and force extra points. It would be there where the Knights would finally escape with the marathon set 30-28.
Leading both squads into a big second set where the goal for both teams was get the energy levels and the mentals back to even. With Hoban trying to avoid riding in the set too high and Fitch now wanting to get down on themselves following an opening set defeat. The Falcons would capitalize early in the set and take a 7-2 advantage early on. However, as The Knight did in the prior set, they battled their way back. Eventually taking the lead and pulling away late, Hoban captured a 2-0 set lead with a 25-18 set two victory.
Making no mistakes and not messing around in the third set. Hoban controlled almost every aspect of the set and captured a convincing 25-10 set win to record the straight set match sweep of The Falcons!
The Knights Amber Watson led the way in kills once again, grabbing 15 in the three set contest. While Macie Mintz was on it defensively, leading The Knights with 16 digs “My goal was to stop every ball from touching the floor.” Mintz said. The senior captain Sophia Day was sharing the wealth, setting-up her teammates to the tune of 21 assists in the match. While it was a good day to be an “Ava” with Ava Norton getting it done behind the service line with 3 aces and 9 service points and Ava Norfolk doing it at the net with 2 blocks.
Following the win, Hoban (11-0) will look to continue their undefeated streak as they hit the road to do battle with Walsh Jesuit (1-7) on Thursday, September 21st. Fitch (9-3) will look to regroup with an All-American Conference (AAC) matchup on Tuesday, September 19th where The Falcons will host The Howland Tigers (4-8).