Kennedy Bader | Staff Writer
When the girls volleyball team takes the court for tonight’s match against No. 8 Cathedral, they are looking to create a new tradition. In 2017, the Lady Trojans defeated the Fighting Irish for the first time in six years. Tonight’s game will determine whether No. 5 Center Grove will start its own winning streak or if last year’s victory was an anomaly.
“Cathedral being one of our biggest rivals is pretty important to us,” senior Graci Gasper said. “My freshman year we lost to them in semi-state so we want to come back my senior year and be able to beat them.”
Facing Cathedral, who has won two state titles in the last three seasons, is just one more tough game for Trojans. In the first two games of the season the team played two defending state champions, New Castle (3A) and Avon (4A), defeating New Castle in four sets and falling to Avon in three. For junior setter Madison Hammill, this non-stop schedule gives no time to rest before the team steps out on the court for the game, is a positive.
“I think starting out with a hard schedule helps us to practice harder, like going into the season because we know we just can’t come out there and be lackadaisical about it,” Hammill said. “That kind of mentality that every game is going to be a hard game really gets us ready, especially for big games like this.”
One player who will challenge the team is Anna Trieloff, a 6’1” junior with 33 kills and 13 blocks in five games this season.
“It’s important that we have a really good defense, meaning that our blocks are going to be up and quick and will be watching the hitters on the other side,” junior middle hitter Lindsey Howard said. “Just being really scrappy in the back row and getting up every ball that we can and not letting a ball drop on our floor [is key].”
Not only would a win in tonight’s game prove that the team could make a run in the state tournament, but a victory against a Top 10 team with the historical success of Cathedral, would provide a boost to the team’s confidence.
“With every game you really have to focus on yourself, and with that we have to practice like we are going to play. We always come together instead of looking across the net,” Hammill said. “So whatever team we are playing, we obviously will practice for them, but in the end it all comes down to what we do instead of worrying about what they are doing.”