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9th Region Tournament Outlook

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In a remarkable piece of irony, the first round games of the 2019 9th region tournament will feature the exact same matchups as the 2018 9th region tournament. The first game on Sunday at Boone County High School will be Cooper and Newport Central Catholic. I like Cooper advancing in this game. Notre Dame Academy and Ryle High School is next up at 3:00. Notre Dame Academy should march onto the semifinals unless Ryle's hitters have the game of their life. Next up at 4:30 is the Dixie Heights and Highlands High School game. This is the most interesting game of the first round. I like Dixie Heights in this one in what should be an exciting game to watch. The night cap at 6:00 features Holy Cross High School and Saint Henry District High School. Saint Henry should advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, I like Notre Dame Academy over Dixie Heights and Saint Henry to move on to the finals over Cooper High School. This sets up another Notre Dame Academy and Saint Henry final on Wednesday the 30th. I think Notre Dame Academy stops their two year hiatus from the state tournament and wins the 9th region title in a 4 set victory. What does everyone else think?

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Highlands played with a lot of emotion and enthusiasm. I believe that was the difference in this first round win over Dixie Heights. Job well done Bluebirds! The rest of the first round games went as planned. Lucy Trump from Ryle is fun to watch as a volleyball "Junkie." If things go as planned the Notre Dame Academy/St. Henry Final should be fun to watch. Notre Dame and St. Henry show flashes of brilliance and then run into rough patches. Both of these teams should not take their Semi final opponents lightly.

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Notre Dame and St. Henry make the finals. With young talent at both schools, going to be tough for another 9th region team to break through.

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It should be another epic match tonight with the last three regional finals between these two powerhouses going to a decisive fifth set. Notre Dame winning three years ago and St. Henry taking the last two. I stand by earlier prediction at the beginning of this thread. Notre Dame wins in an exciting match. Game time is 7:00 at Boone County.

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Notre Dame was clearly the better team tonight. Congrats to the pandas! Pandas win in three convincing sets. They served better and played with a winning attitude. Good luck at state. Bring home some hardware for northern Kentucky.

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Interesting comments from St. Henry coach Maureen Kaiser:

 

“All their hitters are aggressive and we’re too inconsistent,” said St. Henry coach Maureen Kaiser. “We beat ourselves. I mean, they’re a very nice team, don’t get me wrong, but we’re very young. That’s how it’s been (for us) this season. It’s been a roller coaster all year.”

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Colonel-fan, I could not agree more with the St. Henry coach. Not only did the hitters hit more aggressively, the entire team served to zones and with much more pace all night long. Notre Dame has 11 juniors on their roster and a bunch of strong sophomores and freshman. They are going to be strong in the years to come. The Pandas will have to have someone step up at setter next year. Grace Ward played a nice and steady game both on offense and defense with a couple of nice blocks. She will be the senior that is hardest to replace. I hope the Pandas do well at State!

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