Priests win 2023 Cleric Cup Volleyball Tournament

By Tim Lilley

The Message editor

Team Savio, right, sends the volleyball across the net during the championship game against Team Priests. The priests came back from a tournament-opening loss to Savio to claim the 2023 Cleric Cup by a final score of 25-21. The Message photos by Tim Lilley

The team of Diocese of Evansville priests prevailed against teams of diocesan seminarians and members of the Savio group to claim the title at the 2023 Cleric Cup Volleyball Tournament, hosted July 15 by Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Haubstadt. Games were played in the Haubstadt High School gymnasium, located a couple of blocks from the Sts. Peter and Paul Campus.

Father Garrett Braun soars high above the net as he prepares to spike the ball in the tournament’s opening content. Team Savio prevailed 25-22.

The third annual tournament featured round-robin action involving all three teams playing each other, with the two teams with the best records squaring off for the championship. In the opening contest, the Savio guys bested the priests 25-22. Team Savio then defeated the team of seminarians 25-19.

Action at the net is shown in this photo from the game featuring Team Priests vs. Team Seminarians. The priests won, 25-18.

The seminarians dropped their next contest to the priests, who prevailed 25-18. As a result a rematch for the championship pitted Savio against the priests. The Savio guys, who trailed as much as 23-15 late in the contest, mounted a late comeback to pull within two points before ultimately falling short. Team Priests won the championship by a final score of 25-21. 

Team Seminarians, left, and Team Savio had a spirited contest in the preliminary round-robin action. Team Savio won 25-19.

The priests have claimed the cup in two of the three tournaments, winning in 2021 and this year, but dropping the Cup to a team from the Father Deydier House of Discernment in 2022. This year, house residents were members of Team Seminarians.

Deacon Caleb Scherzinger, who is assigned to Sts. Peter and Paul Parish this summer, organized the tournament. He thanked everyone who helped out, especially members of Knights of Columbus Council #2215 of Haubstadt, who grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, and staffed the concession stand with other volunteers.

These players participated in the 2023 Cleric Cup Volleyball Tournament. Team Savio wears red, Team Seminarians wears blue and gray, and Team priests wears black.