Cardinals rally to beat Hornets in conference thriller
By Jacob Heid
STEVENS POINT – In Pacelli volleyball’s home conference opener, the team gave fans an exciting five-set match vs. Rosholt on Sept. 12.
After falling behind 2-1 and the visiting Hornets being one set away from picking up a win, the Cardinals rallied to win consecutive sets and move to 2-0 in the conference season.
Pacelli claimed the win by scores of 25-19, 17-25, 24-26, 25-15 and 15-9.
The first-set energy matched the energy fans brought into the gym.
By starting the match back and forth, the conference foes remained within two points of each other early in the first set.
With Rosholt leading 11-9, the Hornets used defense to go on a little run.
A quick Rosholt 3-0 run ended in Pacelli senior Ava Olds sailing a kill attempt out of bounds, forcing the Cardinals to call timeout.
Out of the break, senior Casey Vaughan lined a cross-court spike into the corner to get back within three.
Vaughan took over the rest of the set with the help of Olds and freshman Jaedyn Zdroik to end the first on a 14-3 run to win 25-19.
Rosholt wouldn’t let the opening set loss faze them.
The Hornets started the second set with a six-point cushion, 9-3, before senior Sarah Trzinski made it a 10-3 game with a back-row kill.
The visitors got the lead up to 10 before Pacelli got it back down to six late.
Sophomore Addi Gagas pounded two kills to get a 25-17 set victory to tie things up.
Rosholt carried that confidence into set three, getting out to another 9-3 lead.
Pacelli climbed back, but the Hornets answered with another run, getting ahead 16-8.
Olds assisted the Cardinals to another run to get within two points, 18-16.
A late battle made it a 24-24 game before Rosholt scored two consecutive times to take the set.
With an error by Pacelli and a Trzinski kill to end it, Rosholt took a 2-1 set lead.
Just like last season, Pacelli showed resilience in the late stages of the match.
The Cardinals never trailed in the fourth and led by as much as 10 to force a game five.
Another tight set capped off an excellent match.
Rosholt and Pacelli traded points, being tied 7-7 at one point.
Zdroik sparked a crucial 4-0 run to put Pacelli ahead 11-7, creating enough cushion to pull out a win.
Pacelli improves to 11-4 (2-0) on the year and will travel to McDonell Catholic High School for a tournament on Saturday, Sept. 16.
Rosholt falls to 9-6 (0-2) and searches for its first conference win at home vs. Almond-Bancroft at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19.