The rivalry between Bishop Ryan and Our Redeemer’s volleyball means a little more this year after the Lady Lions ended the Knight’s season in the semi-final round of the 2021 region six tournament with a come from behind win in five sets for their first victory over Our Redeemer’s in nearly a decade.

“It felt amazing honestly. We weren’t satisfied then, but it felt really good to beat them, and just that feeling of Our Redeemer’s is always the one to beat and that we achieved that it was just amazing,” Senior Bishop Ryan Setter Magee Rovig said.

“Traditionally it’s favored them, so for us, we know it’s kind of the hump that we’re working to get over. I think there will be extra tension this year just with the region semi-final match. Both teams know that we’re competitive and that we both want the win. We know it affects the seeding for the district so we’re both gonna work hard to come out on top,” Bishop Ryan Head Coach Nicholas Theis said.

The way last season ended is already in the Knights rearview mirror, as they got a 2-1 win in a tournament over the Lady Lions last month.

“We’re just working on refining a few of the things that we can control on our side of the net and learning what style of ball they’re going to bring,” Our Redeemer’s Head Coach Kara Nunziato said.

It’s really intense, we have to just kind of focus on what’s going on our side of the team instead of focusing on the people there and who we’re playing against,” Our Redeemer’s Middle Hitter Leah Lindquist.

Each teams coach is familiar with the other … with Bishop Ryan Head Coach Nicholas Theis spending a season on Kara Nunziato’s staff after graduating for Our Redeemer’s.

“It’s kind of fun for me, because when I was in school growing up, Kara was one of the coaches so I got to learn the game with her. She’s always obviously had a lot of success. For me, it’s just exciting to have that challenge and maybe see where we measure up,” Theis said.

“I think it’s fun to play teams that have coaching experience that come from our program and I mean Nick’s a talented coach who’s really passionate about the game and he’s really worked hard to develop the program at Bishop Ryan so it’s always fun to meet up and compete,” Nunziato said.