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CovCath returns to boys state soccer final; Notre Dame will play St. Henry for region volleyball title

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Covington Catholic advanced to the championship final of the boys state soccer tournament for the third time in five years with a 1-0 win over Daviess County in a semifinal match on Wednesday at Frederick Douglass High School in Lexington.

The Colonels (14-8-5) will take on Lexington Dunbar (21-3-2) in the season finale at 4 p.m. Saturday at Frederick Douglass. The two teams did not play each other during the regular season.

Aiden Hemmer

Carter Eilers

CovCath won the 2015 state tournament and lost in the 2016 title match. After losing in the 9th Region final the last three years, the Colonels returned to the state playoffs as region champions and won three matches in the last nine days to make it back to the championship final.

The lone goal in Wednesday’s semifinal match was scored in the 31st minute. CovCath senior Jonathan Gallenstein took a free kick and senior teammate Aiden Hemmer headed the ball into the net.

Daviess County (22-2-4) had six corner kicks and eight shots on goal during the second half, but the Panthers could not get an equalizer. CovCath senior goalkeeper Carter Eilers made three of his five saves during the final 40-minute period.

It was the fifth shutout in the last eight victories for CovCath, even though Daviess County finished with a 14-5 advantage in shots and 10-3 advantage in corner kicks. The last time the Panthers were held scoreless was a 0-0 tie on Aug. 28.

The semifinals of the girls state soccer tournament will be played Thursday at Frederick Douglass. The match-ups are Henderson County vs. South Oldham at 4 p.m. and Notre Dame vs. West Jessamine at 7 p.m.

Volleyball region tournaments

Notre Dame’s volleyball team defeated one local opponent it lost to during the regular season in the 9th Region tournament semifinals on Wednesday and the Pandas get a chance to do again in the championship match on Thursday.

Notre Dame knocked off Ryle, 3-1, and St. Henry downed Cooper, 3-0, in Wednesday’s region semifinal matches to advance to the championship final at 6 p.m. Thursday at Conner High School.

Notre Dame coach Molly McDermott

During the regular season, Ryle and St. Henry were the only local teams that beat Notre Dame, so the Pandas and coach molly McDermott came into the playoffs looking to payback those losses.

Ryle won the first set, 27-25, in the semifinal match, but Notre Dame took the next three, 25-18, 25-12, 25-18, to run its record to 30-8. Last year, the Pandas won the region tournament and went on to claim the program’s first state championship since 1994.

St. Henry outscored Cooper, 25-16, 25-18, 25-16, in the other region semifinal. The Crusaders will take a 31-8 record into their rematch with Notre Dame. They are the only teams that have won 9th Region championships since a statewide realignment in 2003.

Campbell County defeated Bourbon County, 3-0, in the 10th Region semifinals on Wednesday to make the championship final for the sixth consecutive year. The Camels won back to-back region titles in 2018 and 2019, but lost to Scott in 2016, 2017 and 2020.

Montgomery County eliminated defending champion Scott, 3-0, in Wednesday’s other semifinal match and will play Campbell County in the region final at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Montgomery County.

Simon Kenton upset North Oldham, 3-0, in the 8th Region semifinals on Wednesday. North Oldham won the region championship the last seven years, but it will be Simon Kenton vs. Oldham County in the 2021 region final at 7 p.m. Thursday at Eminence.

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