For the sixth time in so many years, St. John's volleyball players squatted around the banner of the D.C. State Athletic Association – this time she threw six fingers to mark her last victory. The cadets swept Sidwell Friends on Friday 25th, 25th, 23rd and 25th February, making them the only DCSAA winners since the league began in 2013.
"I think we are starting to like the challenge. It's been harder every year to win the race, "said coach Bill Pribac. "Keeping it up so late in the year says a lot about the girls."
St. Johns (24-8) overwhelmed the Quakers (21-6) in the championship game at Trinity University with their highly competitive style of play and had a lead of seven points at the start of the opening set. The cadets were overwhelmed as Sidwell called for a break in the set as if the championship were almost won.
Lauren Antonucci, senior setter and tournament MVP, helped the cadets build an aggressive presence on the net by biking the set-set to push Sidwell out of position.
"We all have really loud personalities, and I think that shows on the [court] with our energy, "said Antonucci.
Sidwell tracked the cadets two paces and threw everything he had in St. John's, hoping to destroy the train. The Quakers moved in at the beginning of the third set, aiming for a 7: 3 lead on the outside corners. But Madison Kilpatrick, who is in the second year on the right side of the Hommers, met with junior Nicole Taylor in front of the net to major blocks to stop Sidwells momentum.
The cadets gathered around 15-14 and took their first lead of the set.
With the support of a competition in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, St. John's DCSAA has won title titles with minimal effort. For the cadets six years title has established a winning culture.
Antonucci, who has won four titles in her time at St. Johns, said the team's history gives players a competitive advantage in tight sets.
"As a team, we kept reminding ourselves that this is our title," said Antonucci. "We have won it for six years and want to keep it."
Kilpatrick was confident that St. John's future teams would continue the tradition of dominance in the state tournament.
"We are all proud of each other and we hope to continue this for the next six years and beyond," Kilpatrick said.