FRONTENAC • True to her name, Villa Duchesne standout setter Faith Rolwes believes in her team.
"This year, all across the board, everyone is just awesome, and everyone works really hard and has a good attitude and stuff," she said.
Rolwes is becoming more and more confident in her volleyball squad with each passing day. On Tuesday, the Saints put on another good show when they topped rival Westminster 25-12, 25-22. The victory avenged a loss to Westminster in the district title game last October.
"That was definitely on our mind," Rolwes said of last season's loss to Westminster, a team the Saints had beaten during the regular season. "They played a really good game, but we were out to get 'em."
That was obvious from the get-go. Villa, No. 3 in the STLhighschoolsports.com small-schools rankings, moved out to a quick 6-2 lead in the first game with middle hitter Megan Peterson doing much of the heavy lifting by tallying three of her team-high six kills in that spurt.
"She set the tone really fast for us and really played a tremendous match," Villa coach Shane Weber said of Peterson. "She would definitely be somebody I would give (a game ball) to."
Villa's Metro Women's Athletic Association Red Conference foe counterpunched for a few rallies, but then unforced errors and a solid Villa attack took its toll, and the Saints cruised to an easy victory in the first game.
Westminster (5-3, 3-1, No. 8 small schools) came out a lot stronger in the second game and showed it could play with the Saints. Strong hitting by Erin Bognar, Sadie Stipanovich and Hannah Stipanovich helped Westminster stay in the game until late, but the Saints finished off the Warriors with some big hits by Bridget Boyle and Riley Lawrence.
"We could have pushed back a little harder than we did," Westminster coach Heather Kea said. "It was a better effort, but I think they know and I know that they can push back harder, and they can come out stronger. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do after tonight."
Sadie Stipanovich led the Warriors with five kills on nine attempts. Bailey Benes had 11 assists, and Megan Tilley had 12.
Rolwes had 25 assists for Villa (13-3-1, 3-0), and Emma Lombardo paced a solid defensive effort with 12 digs.
"It's always nice to bounce back when you had that little bitter taste in your mouth to end last season," Weber said. "Having six seniors, I know they were part of it last year, so they had a little to prove probably."
Weber said the Saints have the potential to go a long way this fall.
"This team is much more well rounded," he said. "This is the first year that I can say that I have six true offensive weapons because I feel (Rolwes) puts up a nice attack herself by throwing the ball around and moving it around."