In four years at the helm of the St. Anthony Bulldogs, Kristie Bailey has never topped crosstown foe Effingham.
Thanks to a magnificent effort by her team and the duo of Megan Nuxoll and Haylee Mathis, that changed Tuesday night.
Nuxoll had 12 kills and eight digs, while Mathis had 23 assists as the Bulldogs bested the Flaming Hearts 25-21, 25-22.
While Nuxoll led the team in kills, she was quick to deflect the praise back to her teammates.
"My teammates had some great passes, and we were working with what works," Nuxoll said. "The sets were in the right spot."
In turn, Bailey was quick to push the praise back to her junior hitter.
"Megan Nuxoll was on fire, so I said 'Go to Megan, go to Megan,'" she said. "When someone has a hot hand like she did, we just keep going to her until they moved."
Despite the losing effort, Effingham coach Laurie Bohnhoff understood both sides played each other incredibly tight.
"They're a good team," she said. "We played well. If we played poorly against them, we get beat 25-10."
The game was the team's Volley for a Cure game, with both teams wearing breast cancer awareness t-shirts as opposed to their traditional jerseys. Proceeds from the game went to the Crossroads Cancer Center.
St. Anthony took control of the first set early with a 4-3 lead, and while Effingham continued to push the Bulldogs, Nuxoll made the difference late in the first set.
Up 18-16, Nuxoll scored five of the final seven points for the Bulldogs, with the other two coming off Effingham balls into their side of the net.
"It feels awesome, we haven't won in four or five years, feels great," Nuxoll said.
The second set played out differently, with the two teams playing each other tight and Effingham taking control midway through the set.