By Josh Levine
Behind the strong play of junior Ian Colbert and senior Teddy Niemira, the St. Ignatius boys volleyball team cruised to a 25-23, 25-27, 25-12, 25-23 West Catholic Athletic League win over visiting rival Sacred Heart Cathedral on Thursday night.
Colbert led all players with 15 kills, followed closely by Niemira with 14 kills to lead the Wildcats (3-2, 2-2) to their fifth-consecutive victory over the Irish (3-2, 1-2).
The Irish had 30 total kills, with 14 coming from Nicholas Dailey.
“In these past two years, they really have had our number out there,” said Sacred Heart head coach Nga Tran. “I expected my senior leadership to keep our composure out there and I’m proud of how they handled themselves.”
The Wildcats held a 24-16 lead in the deciding fourth game, but the Irish fought back, scoring seven consecutive points before succumbing to a final kill from Niemira.
“In that final [game] they wanted it and we got cocky,” Colbert said. “We weren’t playing our best [in] the last [game] and they caught up. We need to take the momentum from this game into next week.”
The Wildcats’ win comes after losing two hard-fought WCAL matches games against St. Francis and Bellarmine, which both remain undefeated in league play.
“I’m happy with our play today. It gets us going in the right direction,” said first-year St. Ignatius head coach Ricardo Wray. “After our two losses, this really boosted our team morale. They’re the two top dogs in our league and we are the underdogs.”