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AOSR’s Cristina Nespoli spikes a ball into a wall formed by Aviano’s Kayla Graney, left, and Mayci Salmon in the DODEA-Europe girls' Division II championship match on Saturday Oct. 29, 2022, at Ramstein High School.

AOSR’s Cristina Nespoli spikes a ball into a wall formed by Aviano’s Kayla Graney, left, and Mayci Salmon in the DODEA-Europe girls' Division II championship match on Saturday Oct. 29, 2022, at Ramstein High School. (Michael Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany - The Aviano Saints capped a perfect season against Division II competition Saturday by defeating American Overseas School of Rome yet again.

The two teams compete in the regular season in Italy and also met Friday to determine the winner of Pool A in the second day of the season-ending tournament. But if the Falcons were hoping for some final revenge, they didn’t get it Saturday as the Saints prevailed 25-18, 25-22, 22-25, 25-17.

The smaller Falcons struggled early on trying to stop a constant storm of hard serves from the Saints. Things were looking up as they fought their way back into the second set. But the striking power of Aviano’s Sophia Fisher and Elaina Holsclaw were able to wrestle back the lead and ultimately the set.

Aviano’s Sophia Fisher knocks down a spike in the opening set of the DODEA-Europe girls' Division II championship match on Saturday Oct. 29, 2022, at Ramstein High School.

Aviano’s Sophia Fisher knocks down a spike in the opening set of the DODEA-Europe girls' Division II championship match on Saturday Oct. 29, 2022, at Ramstein High School. (Michael Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

AOSR’s Clara Clayton spikes a ball towards Aviano’s Kayla Graney, left, and Mayci Salmon in the DODEA-Europe girls’ Division II championship match on Saturday Oct. 29, 2022, at Ramstein High School.

AOSR’s Clara Clayton spikes a ball towards Aviano’s Kayla Graney, left, and Mayci Salmon in the DODEA-Europe girls’ Division II championship match on Saturday Oct. 29, 2022, at Ramstein High School. (Michael Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

Aviano's Oriana Lealiifano gets set to make a return as Sophia Fisher, left, and Kaycee Spence watch on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022.

Aviano's Oriana Lealiifano gets set to make a return as Sophia Fisher, left, and Kaycee Spence watch on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. (Michael Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

The Aviano Saints celebrate their win in the DODEA-Europe girls' Division II championship tournament Saturday Oct. 29, 2022, at Ramstein High School.

The Aviano Saints celebrate their win in the DODEA-Europe girls' Division II championship tournament Saturday Oct. 29, 2022, at Ramstein High School. (Michael Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

Aviano’s Mayci Salmon runs through the victory tunnel after the Saints defeated American Overseas School of Rome to win the DODEA-Europe girls’ Division II championships Saturday Oct. 29, 2022, at Ramstein High School.

Aviano’s Mayci Salmon runs through the victory tunnel after the Saints defeated American Overseas School of Rome to win the DODEA-Europe girls’ Division II championships Saturday Oct. 29, 2022, at Ramstein High School. (Michael Slavin/Stars and Stripes)

AOSR wasn’t ready to give in, though, scoring the final points of a tight third set to try to claw back into the match.

With a newfound sense of urgency to close out the match, the Saints used their height advantage again to take control of the fourth set. Aviano’s Kayla Graney seemed like a brick wall on defense as she helped her team close out the Falcons.

“We worked as a unit and as a family,” Aviano junior Mayci Salmon said. “We were able to come back from not playing our best.”

Aviano’s only loss of the season came from a split earlier this month with Ansbach, which won the Division III title earlier in the day. That split also gave the Cougars their only loss of the year.

The Saints finished second to Vicenza in last year’s season-ending tournament held in Italy due to coronavirus protocols.

AOSR’s Cristina Nespoli was named the tournament most valuable player and teammate Clara Clayton joined her on the all-tournament team along with Aviano’s Sophia Fisher, Emma Kasparek and Aiyana Godfrey of Naples, Black Forest Academy’s Katie Stemple, Vicenza’s Shalom DeJardin and Bahrain’s Isabella Garza.

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