Two four-year starters were honored Monday night for the St. Anthony volleyball team. The Bulldogs held its Senior Night at the Enlow Center before the varsity match against Vandalia.
Middle hitter Ada Rozene and libero Elizabeth Kabbes are the lone seniors on the roster, with both being individuals that head coach Cathy Wenthe couldn’t help but praise.
“They were both raw when they first started,” Wenthe said. “Ada had to go in because Sydney [Gibson] had an ankle injury, so she had to go in and play, and Elizabeth got to play with her sister, Katie [Kabbes] when Katie was a senior. They’re great kids.”
Additionally, both seniors were nearly emotional when asked about what the volleyball program means to them.
Kabbes said, “It means everything. Since the sixth grade, all the teammates [I’ve had] and Cathy has been here my whole volleyball career, so it’s really sad, but we still have NTC and Regionals.”
Rozene commented, “I came from Sacred Heart, so my four years here were my four years of high school, but it’s been amazing. I’m really glad that I’ve been able to play and start varsity all four years. This team has been incredible, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
As for the match, St. Anthony (18-6) came away with the win in straight sets.
The Bulldogs won the first set 25-18 and the second 27-25.
“I thought our girls did a really good job of taking them out of serve-receive,” Wenthe said. “Their setters were having to run all over. The girls did a great job of netplay on both sides. I’m just excited to win. Defensively, I thought we did a nice job.”
It was never the crispest evening for the Vandals, who had numerous errors.
Overall, Vandalia finished with 12 hitting errors, six service errors, three blocking errors, 20 dig errors, three ball-handling errors, and seven return errors — all equaling a recipe for disaster.
Yet, even with all the mistakes, St. Anthony still found a way to find open areas on the floor, too.
Rozene led the Bulldogs with nine kills. Abbi Hatton — who came off the floor gingerly after falling on a kill attempt at the net — had seven, and Lucy Fearday finished with six.
“I think we were able to find the open spots. We used the lines a lot, and our setter, she was working hard tonight,” said Rozene on how she felt her team performed offensively.
Despite honoring its seniors on Monday, though, St. Anthony still has home matches to play.
The Bulldogs return to the court on Friday in the National Trail Conference Tournament. They earned the No. 2 seed and will take on No. 8 seed Cowden-Herrick (Beecher City) at 5 p.m.
Pool play starts on Thursday and continues on Friday, with bracket play following on Saturday.
Heading into bracket play, Kabbes said she is looking forward to a pair of matches that she hopes will happen.
“Getting to play Stew again, hopefully. We were so close, and it’ll be hard to beat a team like that, but NTC is where we can beat them and playing South Central again,” Kabbes said. “We haven’t played them since our first match, and we lost to them, so I want to see how we’ve improved as a team, especially since it’s at home and we can get the energy going.”