State volleyball roundup: Increase in size doesn’t slow St. James
Topeka-Washburn Rural won its second consecutive state title, defeating Stilwell-Blue Valley at the Topeka Expocentre, 25-19, 25-19. The Junior Blues, who have won seven titles in the last nine years, reached the championship match by defeating Olathe East in the semifinals. Gardner-Edgerton defeated Olathe East in the consolation match.
St. James Academy’s move from Class 4A to 5A didn’t stop its run of state titles, as the Thunder won their fifth straight championship by defeating Topeka-Shawnee Heights at the Topeka Expocentre, 25-19, 25-6. SJA, which beat Kapaun-Mt. Carmel in the semifinals, had won the last four 4A state titles. Bishop Miege defeated Kapaun in the third-place match.
With St. James no longer in the 4A picture, McPherson emerged as a state champion for the first time in school history. MHS took down Topeka-Hayden in a tight match at the Salina Bicentennial Center, 22-25, 25-22, 25-23. Rose Hill took home third-place honors by downing Louisburg in the consolation match, 25-13, 25-21. Basehor-Linwood, which won the sub-state tournament in Tonganoxie, went 0-3 in pool play and failed to reach the semifinals.
Hillsboro is now a back-to-back state champion after beating Garden Plain in Salina, 25-21, 25-16. HHS needed three sets to take down Silver Lake in the finals. Silver Lake still went home with some hardware, as it defeated Southeast of Saline in the consolation match.
Washington County captured the 2A crown with a victory in straight sets against Ell-Saline at Emporia State University’s White Auditorium, 25-12, 25-18. The Tigers reached the championship by sweeping Jefferson County North in the semis. Hill City beat JCN in three sets to finish third. The Tigers captured the title a year after finishing second to Olpe.
Class 1A Division 1
Olpe won its first 1A state title and second straight title overall with a three-set win against St. John Hudson at Fort Hays State’s Gross Memorial Coliseum, 32-30, 20-25, 25-22. OHS won last year’s 2A state title. Centralia outlasted Hoxie in the consolation match.
Class 1A Division 2
Baileyville B&B is the 1A Division 2 champion for the second straight year, as it knocked off Argonia at Fort Hays State, 25-18, 24-26, 25-18. B&B has won three state titles since 2005. Grainfield-Wheatland/Grinnell swept Weskan to take home the third-place trophy.