St. John sweeps Maplewood, 3-0

CORTLAND — Natalie DeCato and Madyson Paradie dominated the stat line as top-seeded St. John rolled to a straight-set victory over Maplewood in a Division IV Lakeview District semifinal Tuesday.

DeCato, a junior, had 21 kills and 19 digs. Senior captain Paradie finished with 20 kills and 17 digs. The pair has led the Heralds to the district final.

St. John improves to 18-3 and plays Lordstown in the district final Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Lordstown beat Mathews in the other semifinal, 3-2.

“We go out there and try to play our best. We don’t underestimate our opponents. There’s always pressure in the tournament, but I think that makes us play better,” Paradie said.

“We have a good balance on offense because Mad is such an aggressive player. The rest of us have skills to trick the defense,” DeCato said.

St. John won the first two 25-17 and 25-13, but Maplewood went up 8-2 to start the third — eventually extending it to 13-8. Then, St. John went on a 9-0 run to complete the sweep.

Maria Danko’s led Maplewood with 19 digs to keep the Rockets in the game.

St. John was determined to move on to where they made it last year, the district final.

“We were definitely trying to just stay loose and swing away at it,” Paradie said.