- evan ducharme/special to the S.F. Examiner
- SHC’s Madison Murtagh goes up for a spike during Thursday’s match against St. Ignatius on Thursday.
The Fightin’ Irish came out focused and showed resolve throughout, eventually outlasting the host Wildcats in four-sets 25-21, 22-25, 25-22, 25-23.
Sacred Heart Cathedral improved to 15-3 overall and 2-1 in the West Catholic Athletic League with the hard-fought win. “I’m happy with how the girls hung tough,” Sacred Heart Cathedral coach Margi Beima said. “When you come into this gym, it’s a different environment. It gets a little frenetic and crazy, but I thought our kids kept their composure.”
Sacred Heart junior Madison Murtagh — who’s already committed to USF — led the way with 20 kills. Her presence around the net forced the Wildcats into numerous unforced errors.
Murtagh has been starting on varsity since her freshman year.
“She’s still working to get better, but she is just solid,” Beima said. “Regardless of the situation, she keeps her composure.”
Composure was needed for Sacred Heart throughout, especially after dropping the second set to St. Ignatius.
The Wildcats (9-9, 0-3) trailed 19-14 in the fourth set, but rallied back with a kill from sophomore Makayla Swanson and scored five straight points to tie it at 19-19.
However, their rally would fall short as Irish junior Mad Wong came up with two big points, helping the Irish escape the Sunset District with a victory.
St. Ignatius first-year coach Ki Choi wasn’t too distraught over the loss. However, he noted that it’s a step in the right direction.
“It’s progression, but we need to clean out blocking and serving,” said Choi. “I want to make sure we’re not just developing for the wins now, but later. Even though it was a tough loss, we can definitely learn from it.”