Less than 24 hours before the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference volleyball semifinals, which pitted Our Lady of Good Counsel High School and Academy of the Holy Cross on one side and Paul VI and St. John’s College High on the other, Falcon hitter Megan Conger floated out a theory that the Tartans wouldn’t take her team serious.
The possibility of Holy Cross perhaps looking ahead to the championship and ignoring the young and unpredictable Good Counsel squad wasn’t an impossible notion. The Tartans had already beaten the Falcons twice by a combined 6-1. Rhamat Alhassan totaled 34 kills in those two matches and, entering Thursday night’s semifinal, Holy Cross hadn’t dropped a set in exactly three weeks. Ellie Goodwin made sure of there would be no overlooking at Trinity University Thursday. She served 23 times, racking up eight aces and providing a fiery impetus to a 25-6 first-game win. The rest of the evening would follow suit. Holy Cross swept the Falcons 25-6, 25-15, 25-17.
“They were definitely pumped to start the first set,” Tartan coach Dave Geiser said via phone afterwards. “Ellie was out of her mind.”
So out of her mind, in fact, that Alhassan, a Florida-bound senior, was hardly even needed. She finished with just six kills — her lowest output in two weeks — and four blocks. Megan McTigue led the effort with nine kills and was followed by Alhassan, Sylvie Rosenwald (6), Sabrina Ness (5) and Goodwin (4).
“Pretty much everybody played well,” Geiser said. “We pretty much dominated.”
Geiser wouldn’t allude to which team he would prefer to see in Friday’s championship. Paul VI is the only team to beat the Tartans this season and is coincidentally the only one to take them to five sets.
“They can really hit the ball,” Geiser said. Holy Cross avenged that early season loss with a 3-1 victory 21 days ago.
As far as St. John’s goes, “they have some big girls,” Geiser said, but the Cadets haven’t been nearly as ominous as the Panthers. Holy Cross topped St. John’s a combined 6-1 this season.
Either way, the defending champion Tartans will enter Friday’s contest as the prohibitive favorite.