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Prep Sports Notebook: Notre Dame girls soccer team will face state champions in tournament opener

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

The Notre Dame girls soccer team that’s off to a 12-0 start this season will face another undefeated team in the first round of the Lady Knights Challenge Cup on Tuesday at Lexington Catholic High School.

The Pandas’ opponent in the 8 p.m. match will be defending state champion Louisville Sacred Heart, a team that has 13 wins and one tie on its current record.

Notre Dame seniors Eleanor Simkonis, No. 16, and Macie Feldman, No. 5, celebrate after scoring a goal. They each have seven goals this season. (Photo by Bob Jackson)

Sacred Heart has scored 63 goals and allowed six in 14 matches. The Valkyries’ top scorers are senior midfielder Mallory Glass with 40 points (16 goals, 8 assists) and freshman forward Caitlin Chase with 35 points (13 goals, 9 assists).

Notre Dame outscored its first 12 opponents, 42-2, with senior goalkeeper Abby Breeze posting nine shutouts and sharing another one with sophomore Hannah Renaker.

Senior midfielder Macie Feldman is the Pandas’ top scorer with 23 points (7 goals, 9 assists). Junior forward Kennedy Clark is next in line with 18 points (6 goals, 6 assists).

Both teams have new head coaches this season. Suli Kayed took charge of the Notre Dame program and Sabrina Davis is in her first year at Sacred Heart.

There are eight teams in the Lady Knights Challenge Cup that begins Monday with Simon Kenton vs. Louisville Assumption at 6 p.m. and Highlands vs. Lexington Catholic at 8 p.m. The other first-round match on Tuesday is Lexington Dunbar vs. Louisville Manual at 6 p.m.

Semifinal matches in the winners and consolation brackets will be played on Wednesday and Thursday. The tournament will conclude with four matches on Saturday, including the championship final at 7 p.m.

St. Henry returning to All “A” Classic state volleyball tournament

St. Henry will return to the Kentucky All “A” Classic state volleyball tournament on Friday as the top-ranked team among the 16 region champions that will be competing for the small-school state title.

The Crusaders (14-4) jumped to No. 5 in the latest statewide rankings released by the Kentucky Volleyball Coaches Association. The only other All “A” Classic state qualifier ranked among the coaches top 20 was Louisville Holy Cross at No. 17.

St. Henry won its fifth All “A” Classic state volleyball title in 2018, but the team did not compete in the small school playoffs the last two years because of scheduling constraints.

The Crusaders won the 9th Region championship last week to earn a return trip to the state tournament at Eastern Kentucky University. The other local team among the 16 state qualifiers is 10th Region champion Brossart.

The tournament will begin with pool play on Friday evening and Saturday morning. The top two teams in each of the four pools will advance to the championship bracket and the other eight teams will compete in the consolation bracket on Saturday.

Notre Dame grad named to All-America team in beach volleyball

Notre Dame graduate Anna Long was a first-team selection on the junior beach volleyball All-America Team chosen by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Over the summer, Long won the under-18 age group at two national tournaments with different partners to become the first Kentucky player to earn first-team All-America honors in junior beach volleyball.

Long recently started her freshman year at Florida State University. In the spring, she will play on the Seminoles beach volleyball team that posted a 33-6 record last season and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament for the ninth straight year.

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