Grace Spiegelhoff orchestrates a tip kill during playoff action last month. (John Fisher/SLN)


By Dana Ehrmann

Sports Correspondent

The remarkable run for the girls Catholic Central volleyball team has come to an end.

But only for this season.

The Lady Toppers fell at Lourdes Academy on Saturday, Oct. 28, in a WIAA Division 4 sectional final, ending their playoff run.

They dropped the first two sets, 25-17 and 25-18 before fighting their way back to win the next two, 19-25, 24-26.

“We had momentum going into the fifth set as we just won two straight, but I think we let the nerves get the best of us,” said Head Coach Bailey Racky.

She continued, “We started slow in the fifth being down six to two, and could not fight back quick enough.”

Lourdes Academy took the last set, 15-8.

Catholic Central finished the season 30-11.

“Senior Anna Hackbarth had an amazing game. She played her heart out,” said Coach Racky.

Hackbarth finished with 16 kills and 18 digs.

Her teammate, freshman Sammie Seib, had 20 kills and 24 digs.

Hackbarth represents what the Lady Toppers will lose after the season, while Seib represents the bright future of Lady Topper volleyball.

They will lose Hackbarth, Nora Maus, Mikelle Miles, Emily Swanson, Francesca Frederick and Jessica Kempken.

“All of my seniors were awesome,” Racky said. “We talked a lot about doing your job, whatever it might be, and do your best. And they did.”

And Coach Racky believes the future is bright with freshmen Seib, Grace Antlfinger and Ella Shaw as well as players like juniors Elizabeth Klein and Grace Spiegelhoff.

“Some people have said it was a Cinderella season, but I would disagree,” Racky said. “I knew all along we were going to be good, but wasn’t sure how much the girls believed in themselves at the start,” said the coach. “After our first or second play date, their eyes opened up big time and they really saw the potential for success.”

“This has been my favorite team ever to coach. They were a true team, and it was never about anyone personally.”


Catholic Central def. Randolph, 20-25, 25-21, 25-27, 25-23, 15-10

Down 2-1, the Lady Toppers rallied with two straight dramatic games to knock off top-seeded Randolph in a Division 4 sectional semifinal Oct. 26 in Monticello.

Seib led the way with 21 kills, while Hackbarth added 12 and Spiegelhoff pitched in 11.

Klein had 53 assists.

Defensively, Seib led the way with 29 digs, while Klein added 22 and Hackbarth and Emily Swanson each had 21.