Dream becomes a reality: Volleyball team takes state championship for first time in history

Spring 2015 Magazine
By Audrey Kruse ’17

Forty-nine kills, five aces and 36 digs led the Cadets to the final line of the 3A state championship winning match at Worthen Arena earlier this year. The volleyball team, seeking revenge from last year’s runner-up finish, was relentless in its pursuit of the blue medal. The team took the title with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-16) win over Northview High School.

The team returned with most of the runner-up roster in tact, so it was a heavily experienced team going into the tournament run. Leading up to this match, not only was there physical preparedness but also mental stamina. The players now knew what it felt like to be a part of something that was originally just a dream.

Because of the loss the previous year, everyone had a determined disposition and a fire lit within themselves that made them push harder every day.

“In defeat, they learned; they humbled themselves,” Coach Trish Miller said. “They got down in the trenches with their teammates, and they dug every day. They pushed each other to raise the bar. They showed tremendous character. That is what we build this program on. That is what made this team truly special.”

Starting with the ground work in the summer, every one of the 36 girls strove to be better both on and off the court.

With each practice beginning in prayer, God shines through the program, and going to state was the perfect opportunity to represent their Christian faith.

The team didn’t go without attention during the run to state, either. The community showed support and confidence in this team. Signs were made by local grade schools, and even letters poured in from past alumni, saying how proud they were of the accomplishments.

During the journey to state, the team focused on the topic of expectations. It was important for the players to know that no matter what others expected out of the team, individually they knew that the only true expectations are the ones they set for themselves. Everyone on the team had a role that helped shape the team into what it was.

“I believe that our captains really stepped up this year by leading with example and not all talk,” said senior Tionna Williams, who was honored with the Mental Attitude Award. “And with that, everybody was willing to buy into what our captains were trying to accomplish. And by working toward the same goal, we were able to outwork and out-team our opponents.”