Villa Angela-St. Joseph showed plenty of heart and displayed plenty of skill in an epic Division II district semifinal against Lake Catholic on Oct. 24.
Unfortunately for the Vikings, so did the Cougars and the season ended for VASJ at Jefferson High School with a down-to-the-wire, 5-set loss.
The Vikings won the first set, dropped the next two and trailed in the fourth. However, instead of going quietly, VASJ scored the final five points of the fourth set to stave off elimination and force a fifth game with Lake Catholic.
The Cougars, defending champions at the Division II Jefferson District, came back to take the fifth and deciding set, 15-8, to advance to the district finals vs. NDCL.
VASJ won the first set, 29-27, before the Cougars tied the match, 25-16, in the second set. Lake Catholic led by a point, 9-8, early in the set before the Cougars pulled away.
The Vikings tied the third set, 10-10, after a block by Bobbi Rempe. VASJ errors and kills by Ashley Browske and Ainslie McLaughlin helped Lake Catholic take control. The Cougars went on to win the set, 25-14.
Lake Catholic led, 23-20, in the fourth when VASJ closed the set on a 5-0 run to force a fifth set.
The Vikings also pushed the Cougars to five sets in the regular season before falling in that match.
Some information for this report provided by Nate Barnes/News-Herald