A raucous home crowd looking to cheer their St. Ignatius Wildcats to victory on Senior Night wouldn’t be enough to stop Sacred Heart Cathedral on Thursday night.
The Fightin’ Irish girls’ volleyball team took down their hosts and rivals in straight sets (25-20, 25-16, 25-15) to clinch a second consecutive West Catholic Athletic League volleyball championship, the third for head coach Margi Beima, who won her 500th match earlier this season.
Sacred Heart Cathedral (23-5, 8-1 WCAL) swept the ‘Cats for the second time on the season, and while the first of those meetings was a close affair, their showdown at McCullough Gymnasium was hardly in doubt after a first set in which St. Ignatius (15-19, 2-7) trailed 23-15 before rattling off five straight points.
The Irish took the next two to finish the set, then dominated the second frame and went on a 12-3 run to break the third set open and wrap up the league championship. Sacred Heart Cathedral got 22 kills from Skylar Canady, whose brother, Jackson, attends St. Ignatius and plays both football and basketball. Sarah Cheng had 11 kills and Nora Thompson added nine while Alden Standley had 43 assists and Sophie Seljeseth finished with four blocks.
Next Wednesday, the Irish will try to avenge their only WCAL loss by hosting St. Francis (25-10, 6-3) on Senior Night before entering the Central Coast Section playoffs as one of the top seeds. MaxPreps.com not only ranks SHC as the top team in the section, and a section title would mark Beima’s eighth in her storied career.
MaxPreps also has the Fightin’ Irish as the No. 39 team in the nation and the seventh-best team in the entire state. Marin Catholic, which beat the Irish to open the season back on Aug. 29, is the only NorCal team ranked ahead of SHC.