VILLANOVA, PA – The Academy of Notre Dame (15-1, 8-0 Inter-Ac) claimed its second consecutive Inter-Ac title outright after defeating Germantown Academy (12-2, 6-2 Inter-Ac) on Oct. 20.
Both teams put on a five-set show for fans in attendance inside Notre Dame’s Aimee Willard Gymnasium. The Patriots started off strong, taking the first set 26-24 and the Irish fought back, claiming the second and third sets, 25-11 and 25-20.
Germantown Academy senior co-captain Jenna Schumann, who had a team high of 8 aces, 13 kills and 11 digs, went on a 10-serve run in the fourth set to give the Patriots an 18-6 edge over the Irish. This propelled GA to win the fourth set 25-21.
“We were on a really good run in that fourth set. Jenna (Schumann) was on the service line for what seemed like forever. I said to the girls ‘we need to maintain this, not through this game, but through the match',” said Patriot’s head coach Dan Sullivan.
However, the Irish entered the fifth set ready and determined to take the win. Notre Dame took a 6-0 lead en route to a 15-11 victory.
“We came out (in the 5th set) with a lot more energy and we really wanted it. We just kept saying ‘one point at a time’,” said senior co-captain Olivia Andrisani.
The Irish remained undefeated in league play this season and only suffered one non-league loss to top-ranked Delaware powerhouse, Padua Academy.
Notre Dame's head coach Brenda Collins noted that her team's positive mentality and chemistry is what has attributed to their overall success this season.
“The mental aspect of this team, they really feed off of each other. They push each other they listen to each other and they are each other’s number one supporters. And then the physical aspects come second,” said Collins, who is in her second year at the helm of Notre Dame's volleyball program. “Mentally, these girls are a great group of young ladies who inspire me with the energy and passion that they bring to practice and to every game. They wanted this win (vs. GA) more than anything and nothing was going to stop them.”
Following the match-up against the Irish, the Patriots ended their season on a three-game win streak, winning 3-0 against Gwynedd Mercy Academy, the Baldwin School and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.
No.1 seed Notre Dame and No. 2 seed Germantown Academy have both earned first-round byes in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PAISAA) state volleyball tournament. The Irish will play the winner of Baldwin vs. Agnes Irwin on Thursday, Nov. 2 and the Patriots will either play the George School or Academy of the New Church on Friday, Nov. 3.