By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter
St. Henry returned to the Kentucky All “A” Classic state volleyball tournament after a two-year absence and won six matches in two sets to claim its sixth championship in the small-school event.
After winning all three of their pool play matches, the Crusaders defeated Pikeville, Ballard Memorial and Louisville Holy Cross in the eight-team championship bracket at Eastern Kentucky University to take the title and advance their overall record to 21-5.
St. Henry senior libero Abby Schaefer, a Western Kentucky University recruit, was named the state tournament’s most valuable player. The other Crusaders on the all-tournament team were setter Cora Taylor, defensive specialist Elizabeth Tabeling and outside hitters Sidney Arstingstall and Alivia Skidmore.
Taylor Preston, the leading hitter on the St. Henry team, saw limited action during the tournament due to an ankle injury. Her status for the Crusaders’ match against defending state champion Notre Dame on Friday remains uncertain.
“We have Dixie Heights on Tuesday and three days of practice to determine her playing time on Friday,” said St. Henry coach Maureen Kaiser. “But we will have the team ready to go, hopefully with Taylor in full capacity.”
In the latest Kentucky Volleyball Coaches Association statewide poll, Notre Dame (17-3) was No. 4 and St. Henry was No. 5. Proceeds from Friday’s match between the perennial powers will go to a local foundation that provides financial and emotional support to breast cancer patients.
Kaiser started the “Playing For A Purpose” fundraiser with Notre Dame in 2008 when one of her friends was dealing with breast cancer. The first charity match at St. Henry was a sell-out. They moved it to Thomas More University to accommodate more fans in the university’s 1,200-seat gym and the annual match continues to draw large crowds.
Notre Dame girls soccer team wins tournament to remain undefeated
The Notre Dame girls soccer team outscored its three opponents, 15-0, to win the Lady Knights Challenge Cup last week and should remain the top-ranked team in the state coaches poll with a 15-0 record.
The Pandas defeated local rival Highlands, 3-0, in the championship match on Saturday at Lexington Catholic High School. Their previous two wins were against Louisville Manual, 7-0, and Louisville Sacred Heart, 5-0.
Nine players scored goals for Notre Dame in the three matches. Senior forward Eleanor Simkonis was named the tournament’s most valuable player with teammates Macy Feldman, Natalie Bain, Emma Spivey and Ellie Greenwell joining her on the all-tournament team.
Senior goalkeeper Abby Breeze set a Notre Dame team record with a her 12th shutout of the season in the championship match against Highlands. It was the second time this season that the Pandas defeated the Bluebirds by a 3-0 score.
Brossart boys earn berth in All “A’ Classic state soccer tournament
Brossart earned a berth in the All “A” Classic boys state soccer tournament for the second consecutive year by defeating Beechwood, 3-1, in a sectional playoff match on Saturday at Brossart.
Sophomore forward Tyler Smith scored his 13th goal of the season to give Brossart a 1-0 lead in first half. The Mustangs extended it to 3-0 on goals by Tyler Twehues and Ivan Rodero. Beechwood’s lone goal was scored by Andric Aguilar.
In the first round of the eight-team All “A” Classic boys state tournament, Brossart (10-5) will play Prestonsburg (14-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Capital View Park in Frankfort. Brossart has won its last eight matches and Prestonsburg has won six in a row.
First-round matches in the All “A” Classic girls state tournament will be played Saturday morning at that same site. Those matches include Walton-Verona (13-2) vs. Prestonsburg (13-0) at 9 a.m. and Brossart (10-4-1) vs. Bardstown Bethlehem (13-1-1) at 11 a.m.
Notre Dame grad inducted into University of Cincinnati Hall of Fame
Notre Dame Academy graduate Kara Molony-Hussey was recently inducted into the University of Cincinnati Hall of Fame for her outstanding career in women’s tennis.
Hussey was the first UC women’s tennis player to qualify for the NCAA Championships in 2000. She ended her collegiate career one year later with team records in most career wins (106) and most wins in a season (36). Both of those records still stand.
She was ranked as high as No. 22 nationally in singles and No. 27 in doubles with her younger sister, Lyndsey, as her partner. The sisters won a Kentucky state high school championship in doubles when they were teammates at Notre Dame Academy.