Pace Academy Tops Lovett In "Riverbank Rivalry", Improves To 24-0
On Tuesday, another installment of the “riverbank rivalry” took place as the Lovett Lions volleyball team hosted the Pace Academy Knights in a rematch from last season’s region championship in which the Lions walked away victors. However, in the midst of a new season under new head coach, Catherine Monroe, the Knights came into the match putting their 23-0 record on the line while looking for redemption.
In the opening set, the Lions would have an early 2-1 lead, but after the Knights would tie the set 2-2 thanks to a point off of a Grace Agolli kill, Pace would take the lead on the very next point and would not relinquish it as they would go on to take the set 25-12. Having a good season of their own at 12-3 and riding a four game win streak coming into the night, Lovett would come out strong in set two outscoring the Knights 7-4 through the first 11 points of the set.
But Pace would settle in, overcoming several missed serves, and go on a 7-3 run to tie the set at 14 all and from that point, outscore the Lions 11-6 for the 25-20 set win, taking the match 2-0 and keeping their perfect season intact. Following the match, Pace’s Monroe spoke to the fact that while she was not with the Knights when they last faced Lovett back in the spring, she could still “sense the energy and emotions” from the two teams’ last meeting. “It didn’t resonate with me as much as it did with the girls and I think that was helpful to lower the intensity with this match,” Monroe said as she wanted the girls to focus on the game being just “an area match” with not as much on the line.
Monroe did admit, that overall the Knights may have had a level of stress coming into Tuesday that was related to the fact that they have yet to suffer a loss, but ultimately they were able to keep their focus on just getting a win. “We just kind of came into it with our calm collective like, let’s just play our game and not worry about anything in the past or future and just kind of stay in the present,” Monroe said of the Knights’ mindset for Tuesday.