"I think we have a great balance with offense and defense," Case said. "We have a very athletic group and have some depth this year."
Ursuline, a regional finalist in 2016, had a memorable weekend in Northeast Ohio. The Lions won a strong 12-team tournament at Mentor that included many of the top-ranked teams in the state.
Ursuline defeated state No. 5 Mason 25-15, 25-15 in the semifinal. They then defeated previously undefeated and seventh-ranked St. Joseph Academy in five sets in the final.
"We played a very strong, big St. Joseph team in the finals and we started out getting blocked the first set and were down 10-17 and came back," Case said. "We actually had game point that set. I saw this team fight and not give up or lose confidence at any point in the match. We lost a big lead in the fourth and end up losing that and came back in the fifth so strong. It was so great to see that. Our defense has been tough. It's been a total team effort.”
Ursuline’s defense was outstanding, with four players totaling more than 20 digs. Sophomore setter Logan Case, Jeni’s daughter, set a school record with 69 assists against St. Joseph. Logan was named the tournament MVP.
Seniors Ali Thompson, Maddy Taylor, Susanna Lang, Amanda Robben, Chloe Metzger and Lexi Reinert are also having excellent seasons. Thompson is playing well in the front and back rows.
"She is definitely more comfortable this year back there," Jeni Case said. "Logan and Ali are connecting well."
Junior Peyton Breissinger moved into a hitting role this year and she gets better every time she steps on the court. Junior Maggie Huber is a standout libero.
"I think having seven seniors on the team and having the setter and libero back from last year is our strength," Jeni Case said. "We have experience, leadership and great chemistry."
Ursuline plays at St. Ursula at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday before a match at Mercy Thursday night. St. Ursula (10-7) is ranked No. 10 in the state and Mercy (14-2) is No. 6. The Bobcats are No. 19 nationally by the MaxPreps Computer Rankings. Ursuline plays host to Louisville Mercy at 1 p.m. Saturday. Louisville Mercy is ranked No. 16 nationally by the MaxPreps Computer Rankings.
"Our schedule has been tough and this week isn't any different,” Jeni Case said. "We have two great teams to play from our league in St. Ursula and Mercy and have nationally ranked Louisville Mercy Saturday. The week after Mentor tournament is usually tough because it is such a long and hard weekend of playing. The girls have to push through and play through it. There is no time for rest because the season isn't getting any easier."
Next week, Ursuline plays host to Mount Notre Dame (13-2) Oct. 3. MND is ranked No. 9 nationally by MaxPreps.