Outlaws are state volleyball champs

 

Last updated 11/7/2023 at 12:33pm

Photo by Jerry Baldock

Gracie Vohs had an outstanding playoffs for the Outlaws, who beat tough opponents to claim the state championship in volleyball.

The Lady Outlaws volleyball squad battled through three opponents to take first place at the state tournament last weekend in games. The tournament was exciting and nerve-racking to the very end.

Sisters started their run with a 25-5, 25-20, 25-14 sweep against Corbett in the 8 a.m. quarterfinals on Friday, November 3. Sisters advanced to the semifinals and came back from a 0-2 deficit against Valley Catholic (VC), and won the next three sets to post the win in a match that was a nail-biter to the finish. In the championship game they faced league foe Pleasant Hill and came out on top in a four-set match.

In the quarterfinals, the Outlaws demolished the Corbett Cardinals in the first set, led the entire way, and held them to just five points. Jordyn Monaghan had an 11-point serving run midway through the set that took Sisters to a 17-3 advantage.

"I was able to stay calm at the serving line because I knew my teammates would help with the rest of the play," Monaghan said. "The win felt so good. We didn't underestimate Corbett and they came ready to play. We responded well and used all of our coaching from the past two weeks to get the win."

The Outlaws started out slow against theVC Valiants in the semifinals. They struggled with serve-receive and quickly found themselves down in the set. They never could catch up and lost 17-25.

Bailey Robertson put up a great block to start the second set and give the Outlaws the first point of the set, but the Valiants took over from there. Later in the set Gracelyn Myhre had a three-point serving run followed by a great slide kill from Kathryn Scholl, to close the gap to 11-13. The Valiants forged ahead and kept extending their lead. The Outlaws fought back but just couldn't catch them and lost 17-25.

Sisters had their work cut out for them and knew they'd have to win the next three sets in order to advance to the championship match.

The Outlaws battled to bring the match to a final set.

With the score knotted at 4-4, kills from Vohs took Sisters to a 7-4 lead. Later, a solo block stuff from Myhre pushed the Outlaws to a 10-5 advantage. The Outlaws had the momentum and they could see the win in sight. The Valiants won a point back, but the Outlaws were in control and closed out the match with a 15-9 fifth-set win in a grueling contest that took over two hours to finish.

On Saturday night, the Outlaws battled league foe Pleasant Hill (PH) in an exciting championship match in a gym that was filled with fans from both sides.

The first set got underway and back-to-back-to-back blocks from Bailey Robertson took the Outlaws to a 5-2 lead. By the time the score reached 13-13 it had been tied up nine times. Toward the end a big kill from Myhre took the Outlaws to a 22-20 advantage. The PH Billies battled back and tied it up 23-23, and then got the next to points to snatch the win from the Outlaws.

At the start of the second set scores remained close until Ila Reid put up a great block to push the Outlaws to a 10-6 lead. Back-to-back kills from Kathryn Scholl energized the Outlaws even more and put them up 14-8. The Outlaws forged ahead, and took the set 25-18. The set was marked by long rallies, and both Jordyn Monaghan and Gracie Vohs laid out on the floor to get the ball up so play could continue.

Sisters came out on fire at the start of the third set and quickly went up 6-0. Cross-court kills from Vohs and a big block from Scholl pushed the Outlaws to a 14-4 lead. Toward the end of the set Holly Davis went on a three-point serving run to extend the lead to 22-14. Vohs put down a great cross-court kill to the back corner to bring the score to 24-15. The Billies did get another point, but Robertson pounded down a kill for the win.

At the start of the fourth set the crowd was on their feet, and Sisters could feel the win within their reach. The Outlaws didn't score the first point, but after Vohs' ace at the service line to put them ahead 2-1, they held the lead the rest of the way. Kills from Vohs and Robertson put the icing on the cake and the Outlaws took the set 25-18, and claimed the title.

The Outlaws' bench rushed to their teammates in the center of the court, and the celebration began; shouts, cheers, and tears, and everyone jumping up and down as they held on tightly to one another.

Vohs finished with 21 kills and 11 digs, and Scholl tallied 14 kills and a block. Both Robertson and Myhre had 10 kills in the match. Myhre also had 12 digs and three aces and Robertson put up four blocks. Jordyn Monaghan had 15 digs and three aces, and Davis dished out 49 assists and had 10 digs.

After the trophy presentation, Gracie Vohs was named Player of the Game, and both Vohs and Gracelyn Myhre were First Team All-Tournament players.

Captains Vohs and Myhre commented on the win.

Myhre said, "It was the craziest ride of all time, but winning the state championship with my best friends is the biggest gift of all time."

Vohs added, "All of us wanted it with all of our heart and we left everything on the court, and we played with passion and love. This family is one of a kind and have worked so hard this season to get to this point."

Photo courtesy Jerry Baldock

The Outlaws climbed to the top of the mountain, winning the state championship in dramatic fashion.

Junior Scholl had her best performance of the season and shared her thoughts with The Nugget.

"This was the moment to have a big game and I owed it to my team," said Scholl. "All year they believed in me and tonight I proved it true. I wouldn't be here without them."

Of their big win Coach Rory Rush said, "After playing such an intense and emotional game against Valley Catholic, and coming from behind for the reverse sweep, in tonight's game we had confidence. We worked so hard to get to where we were and we didn't want to let it slip away. We stepped on the court and three great offensive plays set the tone.

"Even though we lost the first set at the end, we never felt like we weren't in control of the tempo," added Rush. "We just took a deep breath and said, 'Let's do this.' It was a great team effort from everyone."

 

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