Girls HS Dream Team of the Week: Drapp, Bardin, Sigler, Chinchar, Marchal, Taylor, Arquette, Lee
November 15, 2023
November 7, 2023
This is “Dots,” VolleyballMag.com’s weekly look at 10 things in high school volleyball, past or present, that interest me and hopefully will interest you. Look for Dots every Tuesday until the last high school state championship this month:
• Fifteen states held championship events since our last Dots article one week ago: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah (large schools), Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Since the Dots column contemplates only 10 items, rather than attempt to recap EVERYTHING, here are the results I found most interesting from the week that was.
• The most interesting story in a week when more than 65 teams won state titles was a loss.
An uncommon loss.
For 21 years, Bayside Academy of Daphne, Alabama, had won its last match of the season. The Admirals, coached by Ann Schilling, started this unprecedented streak of state titles in 2A in 2002. They won six at that classification before being elevated to 3A, where they won 10 straight. In 2018, the Alabama High School Athletic Association made Bayside a 4A school. The Admirals won that year and again the next, when they were elevated, due to success, to 5A. Bayside won that classification in 2020 and in 2021, when the AHSAA told the Admirals they were going to 6A. They won that last year! For 21 years, wherever the AHSAA placed Bayside, the Admirals won! Twenty-one years!! That’s crazy!
This year, girls who were not even born when the streak began, were tasked with continuing it. The pressure must have been intense!
Bayside won its way to the 6A semifinals, and found itself facing powerhouse Mountain Brook, a team it eliminated from contention a year ago. The Admirals (46-10) dropped the first set but won the next two. They needed to win just one more to advance and were close in Games 4 and 5, but Mountain Brook got the better of them, 25-23, 15-13, before going on to win the state title the next day over Saraland, behind tournament MVP Hannah Parant, who had 35 assists, 10 kills, 10 digs and two aces.
“They fought, they never, quit, they just battled and I can’t ever get mad when we lose like that or upset because we laid it all on the line and I told them that,” Schilling told veteran volleyball writer Dennis Victory. “I’m just proud of our program and what we’ve been able to accomplish. I mean, 21 in a row over six divisions is pretty dang incredible and it had to end one day and I’ve been saying that and not just this year.”
Schilling, who is still coaching almost six years after a diagnosis of stage IV breast cancer, took to social media to pay tribute to her players.
“So many emotions. I can honestly say without a doubt I am truly blessed. God has placed me at a place that I love to work and coach. He has also given me many great young women to mentor and coach for the past 36 years. The Bayside volleyball community is a TRUE family. There is love all around. We hugged, shed many tears, shared memories and ate our last meal of the season at camp Bayside. We came up short in the match but we didn’t come up short in the game of life. This group of girls fought, battled and showed true grit under some of the most extreme and stressful situations. We have overcome impossible odds. Our program is bigger than any one person. And we honor God in all that we do. We got knocked down but we will get back up. I tell my kids I learned way more in the valley (my cancer setback) than I ever have in my entire life. We will bounce back. We will get up! We are strong! We are Bayside volleyball. Let’s go in ‘24!”
• With Bayside’s streak now over, it appears that Skutt Catholic of Omaha has now won the most consecutive state titles. On Saturday, the SkyHawks swept a tough Norris team to win the Nebraska Class B title for the ninth consecutive season.
Kiera Link had 10 kills and nine blocks to lead the way. Abbie Hagedorn added 10 kills, 18 digs and three aces. Addison West, Avery White, Sydney Schram and Ellie Ortmeier teamed for 24 more kills. Brooke Banker and Meghan Anderson both had double digit assists.
Here’s the kicker: ALL are underclassmen! Link, Hagedorn, Banker and Anderson are all juniors. West, White, Schram and Ortmeier are just sophomores.
Skutt will need to replace libero Paisley Douglas. She is the only senior on the team and a good one. The USC-bound defender had 22 digs in the championship match. But with a coach like Renee Saunders and talent overflowing, the Skutt streak may not end anytime soon.
The other interesting development in Nebraska is that the Class A title did not go to nationally ranked Papillion-La Vista South. The defending champion Titans (35-2) were upset in the quarterfinals by Papillion-La Vista, the only team they lost to all season. Papio beat them the last two times after losing the first five times they played in 2023.
The Class A title went to Lincoln Southwest, which defeated Papillion to win state for the first time in 17 state tournament appearances. Setter Malayah Long led the way for the Silver Hawks, who finished 33-4.
• Two other noteworthy state title streaks reached seven and six this past week.
In Georgia, Pace Academy won its seventh straight title over three classifications by edging Lovett in five sets. The Knights swept Lovett in last year’s final but needed to rally to win on Saturday after dropping the first two sets. The Knights, with standout seniors Ellie Siskin and Grace Agolli and talented sophomore setter Olivia Siskin, finished the season 37-3 and on an 18-match winning streak.
In Utah, Lone Peak won the 6A title in four sets over Skyridge to extend its domination of the state’s largest class to six years. The Knights won by rallying after a Game 1 loss to a Skyridge team that had lost just once on the year before Saturday, thanks to strong play from Cami Christiansen, Ava Burgess and Zoey Burgess.
• There were two noteworthy events in Indiana this weekend.
Muncie Burris won the Class 2A title in a sweep over Brownstown Central. The Owls were led by senior Aubrey Miller, who had 16 kills and seven digs; junior Lilly Howell, who contributed 13 kills, three aces and three blocks; and sophomore Mya Trammell, who recorded 12 kills and eight digs.
The title was the state-record 23rd for Burris, but first since its record streak of 14 straight was snapped in 2010.
Burris won the 2004 national championship under legendary coach Steve Shondell.
In Class 4A, Hamilton Southeastern continued its statewide domination with a four-set win over Castle to repeat as state champs. The Royals, who were 33-0 this season, have won 67 consecutive matches dating back to last year’s season-opening loss to McCutcheon.
HSE became only the fourth team in Class 4A history to complete an unbeaten season.
HSE had four players record 13 or more kills: Lindsey Mangelson, Tiffany Snook, Breonna Goss and Lauren Harden, a Florida recruit who has been the state’s best player the past two seasons. Senior setter Macy Hinshaw had 38 assists and 16 digs and Ava Hunter added 20 assists for the victors, who had seven Div. I recruits on the roster.
• Guess who won the Kentucky single-class state title this year? In past years, the answer would have been obvious: Louisville Assumption. But the Rockets had not won state since 2019 before Saturday, when they took down defending champion Notre Dame Academy in four sets.
The title was No. 23 for Assumption, which won eight in a row between 1995 and 2002 and won 22 titles over a 27-year span ending in 1999.
Charlotte Moriarity led the way for Assumption with 18 kills and 15 digs. Three other Rockets, Emma Barnett, Bailey Blair and Chloe Smith, had at least nine kills. Kristen Simon, the state’s Defensive POY, had 16 digs. Setter Emilee Fuller contributed 43 assists.
All of Assumption’s state titles have come with legendary coach Ron Kordes on the bench. How did “The Godfather” celebrate this year’s title? Spine surgery. Get well soon, coach!
• Five schools added to their impressive state championship totals.
In Alabama, the Dirty Dozen of McGill-Toolen won their second straight 7A title and 23rd state championship of all time. Paris McQuirter had 20 kills and Chelsea Daffin added 16 to lead M-T past favored Bob Jones in four sets. Juliet Galla had a team-high 26 digs.
In Iowa, Dike-New Hartford won its 16th title all time and third in four years with a sweep of Hinton in Class 2A.
The Wolverines for led by senior Payton Petersen, who had 20 kills. She was voted 2A MVP for the third time in her career.
Petersen has a twin, Jaydn Petersen, who also had a good match and was a four-year contributor. They are the second set of Petersen twins – their mother is Bobbi Petersen, the head coach at Northern Iowa for the past 24 seasons – to play for coach Diane Harms at Dike-New Hartford.
Also in Iowa, Western Christian captured the 3A title over Mount Vernon in four sets. The Wolfpack won state for the 19th time and 14th under longtime coach Tammi Veerbeek. Shayna Van Dyken led the way for the school, which is located in Hull in the northwest corner of the state, with 20 kills.
In South Carolina, Dorman won the large-class championship for the 15th time under coach Paula Kirkland. The Cavaliers defeated Wando in four sets behind a tremendous effort from senior OH Carly O’Brien, who recorded 27 kills, 18 digs, two blocks and an ace.
Staying in South Carolina, Bishop England won the 2A title for the 29th time, but first time since 2017. There was a time when the Battling Bishops had a consecutive title streak that rivaled Bayside’s, with 18 in a row from 1999 through 2017.
• In Missouri, Lafayette won its second consecutive Class 5 title in a sweep of Francis Howell. Maya Witherspoon led the way with 20 kills for the Lancers, who won six in a row between 2011 and 2016 and have now won eight titles.
Lafayette finished with a 36-2 record.
Staying in Missouri, Incarnate Word Academy won its 12th title all time, winning Class 4 over St. Pius X (Festus) behind 17 kills from Tara Greenberry.
Hermann’s bid for a 16th Missouri state title was foiled in Class 2 by Fair Grove, which won its first behind Shea Skouby’s 16 kills.
• Two programs from strong volleyball states won initial state titles.
In Utah, Maple Mountain overcame 30 kills from Bountiful’s Taylor Harvey to capture 5A in four sets. Marley Pratt led the Golden Eagles with 17 kills.
In North Carolina, Middle Creek upended perennial power Cox Mill to win the 4A title. Senior Avery Scoggins and freshman Graceyn Shepard keyed a strong defensive efforts for the Mustangs, who finished the season 25-1.
• In Wisconsin, the rematch of last year’s thriller between Divine Savior Holy Angels and Oconomowoc for the Division 1 title was just as compelling. DSHA (47-1) won in five for the second straight year to repeat as champions, behind 26 kills from Madison Quest and 22 more from Sophia Wendlick. Anna Bjork terminated 18 times for Oconomowoc.
One interesting note: the Dashers’ 47 wins are the most for a Division1 champion since 2001 when their head coach Caitie Ratkowski, then known as “Caitie O’Brien,” was a player on DSHA’s first title team. She had 18 kills in DSHA’s 51st win of the season.
In Division 3, Howards Grove’s quest for a fifth straight title was denied by St. Croix Falls, which won in five sets, 15-13 in the fifth.
“History is supposed to be hard,” coach Brett Damrow told local media. “We were trying to make history today and came up short. I don’t think we lost it; I think they beat us. We almost made history. It was pretty cool.”
• That’s 10 Dots but I’ll add one more, because I attended the Oregon state championships over the weekend and can write this Dot from memory.
Three of the six titles in the Beaver State went the full five sets. There was only one repeat champion. It was a memorable run.
Jesuit, the 6A runner the past two seasons, rallied from two sets down to knock off first-time finalist Oregon City. The Crusaders got a two kills and a block late in the fifth to build a lead and hang on.
Crescent Valley repeated in 5A behind 21 digs from Dani Street, 33 assists from Kam Mitchell and 14 kills each from Vivian Buford, Taelyn Bentley and Bella Jacobson.
Marist Catholic won a thriller in 4A over defending champion Marshfield thanks to extraordinary work from OH Giana Elgarico and a late block from senior Avia Tuguldur.
Sisters won 3A one night after “losing” to defending champion Valley Catholic in three. The Outlaws got a reprieve when no touch was called on a match point swing from the Valiants’ Addie Emerson when even Sisters coach Rory Rush said the touch was “blatant.” Sisters rallied to win that match in five, then was on its game in the championship match versus Pleasant Hill and won in four, led by Gracie Vohs’ 20 kills and 18 digs.
Portland Christian foiled Salem Academy’s big for a 2A threepeat by winning, 16-14, in the fifth set on the 30th kill of the match from Finley Marine and her title-clinching ace.
Finally, Crane won its first state title, downing St. Paul in four sets behind 37 kills from senior Kortney Doman, a 5-9 outside with a jump touch over 10-0.
More high school coverage and Tawa’s Dots articles can be found here.
Until next time …