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Cardinal Mooney wins division title, sets eyes on next District championship next

By Calli Newberry

The Cardinal Mooney volleyball team won the Catholic High School League Intersectional division title on Wednesday afternoon with a well-fought victory over Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.

“It was pretty intense actually because it went into all five games,” head coach Troy Parsell said. “They were very close games all the way through.” 

The Cardinals fell in a tight first set, 23-25, but came back in a more dominant fashion to win 25-16 in the second. Unable to hold on in the third, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s won in an extended set, 26-24, but Cardinal Mooney bounced back with two more set wins, 25-20 and 15-12, to secure the match, along with the division title. 

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Parsell is in his third year as head coach of the Cardinal Mooney volleyball program. He said the team has won its District for the last two years and is looking to make it three consecutive wins. A big role in that success has been senior captain Elena Guc. 

“She’s a four-year varsity player. She’s probably the number one player on our team,” Parsell said. “Last year she was Second-Team All-State and my goal this year for her is to be First-Team All-State for sure. She did very well and she was the leader again.”

Guc put together an impressive 25 kills, 20 digs, and two blocks to help her team to victory on Wednesday night. She, along with junior captain Sadie Hunt, led the team offensively with a combined 37 kills.

“Hunt is my other captain, she’s a junior,” Parsell said. “I moved her to playing all the way around. She was a libero, but I needed an extra hitter so she’s helping me with that.” 

She’s been doing just fine in her adjustment. She added 12 kills and 24 digs against St. Mary’s. And fellow junior setter Claire Campbell chipped in with 39 assists and 13 digs for a well-rounded team effort. 

“It was a joint effort because of the way the play was,” Parsell said. “They were very good at defense so I had to rely on a lot of offense, not just one player.”

The Cardinals will now gear up for the Catholic High School League playoffs next week as the No. 1 seed, beginning Monday, Oct. 18 on their home court against Bishop Foley, and will conclude on Tuesday, Oct. 26 with the league championship match. That will be followed by the District tournament that begins on Monday, Nov. 1, against Chesterfield Austin Catholic. 

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