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Notre Dame volleyball wins pool and reaches Dig For Life semifinals

Notre Dame volleyball's freshman outside hitter Kate Rubel currently leads the Bulldogs in kills (55) and total blocks (21). Photo by Jay Forness

Despite not making it to the Dig For Life Challenge Championship match, the Notre Dame volleyball team (5-2-2) proved throughout the tournament it has all the making of repeating as Class 3 District 1 Champions.

The Bulldogs won their pool by sweeping SEMO Conference opponent Poplar Bluff at 2-0 (25-16, 25-15) and tying with South Iron (25-23, 24-25) and Ste. Genevieve (21-25, 25-12). South Iron (4-2-3) split with Red Division Gold Bracket and overall Dig For Life Champions Saxony Lutheran (13-25, 25-22) in pool play, while Ste. Genevieve (8-2-2) won the Red Division Silver Bracket.

In tournament play of the Red Division Gold Bracket, Notre Dame picked up back-to-back sweeps over Clarkton (6-4) and Lesterville (7-1) by scores of 25-12, 25-17 and 25-19, 25-20, respectively. Lesterville swept South Iron (25-11, 25-17) in the first round of bracket play.

Against Lesterville, Notre Dame freshman outside hitter Kate Rubel recorded a tournament-high 10 kills (.714 hitting percentage), while senior outside hitter Kristin Anderson paced her with nine and had 23 digs.

Rubel tied senior Grace Young for the most kills against Clarkton with five, while Kate also produced two blocks. Rubel’s older sister and Notre Dame senior middle hitter Tori Rubel finished with three blocks and came up with three digs versus the Reindeer.

The Bulldogs run at Dig For Life came to an end against eventual tournament runner-ups Farmington 2-0 (20-25, 21-25). Anderson recorded 17 digs and six kills as Kate Rubel paced her with five kills and two blocks.

On two different occasions, Kate Rubel recorded a team-high four blocks, which came against South Iron and Ste. Genevieve.

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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