Roanoke Catholic continues its early-season adjustments as the team looks to make a run for a third straight VISAA Division 3 volleyball state championship.
Thursday night at the Roanoke Catholic gym the Celtics came away with a 3-game (25-19; 25-19; 25-8) sweep over Eastern Montgomery to improve to 5-2 pin the season.
“We graduated five quality players off last year’s team and return six,” third-year Celtic coach Aaron King noted after the win. “One of the keys is we have a new setter in sophomore Ashley Deer.We’re playing new people in new places so it comes down to consistency and putting it all together.”
After the 25-19 win in Tuesday’s opener, the Celtics finished strong with an 8-3 run late in game two after the Mustangs had closed to within 17-16 on a scoring burst midway in the game. Catholic took control early in game three, opening with and 5-0 lead and never looking back as they pulled away to secure the sweep. Outside hitter Alexandra Arnold led the front-line Celtic attack with 10 kills. Ashley Deer proved she’s filling the role well at setter, collecting 23 assists in the victory.
Catholic’s only losses have come at the hands of Liberty Christian and Westover Christian, as scheduling becomes tougher for the private school program. “Some of the bigger local teams dropped off our schedule this year,” King pointed out. “Beginning next year, VHSL teams won’t get points credit for playing private schools, so there’s a big question on how that’s going to affect scheduling future opponents . It may leave us in a position where we have to travel to Richmond or Hampton to fill out our schedule. You can’t stay close to home and play another private school five times.”
King came to Roanoke Catholic two seasons ago after being the assistant at perennial powerhouse Hidden Valley under Titan head coach Carla Poff.