TOPEKA — Two schools with multiple state championships in volleyball will be in the 5A state semifinals Saturday afternoon at the Kansas Expocentre.
By CHARLES REDFIELD
Special to The Star
Four-time defending 5A champion Bishop Miege and four-time 4A state champ St. James Academy both reached the semis by winning pool play on Friday night.
And St. James Academy reached it this far in its first year in 5A.
For the Bishop Miege Stags, it will be their 29th trip to the state semifinals. They have captured 21 state 5A titles.
Although it wasn’t easy, the Stags won all six games on Friday in Pool I.
Miege beat Wichita Kapaun Mt. Carmel 25-23, 25-16; Valley Center, 25-23, 25-19 and Wichita Bishop Carroll, 26-24, 25-14.
“We had tough serving and passed pretty well,” Stags coach Gwen Pike said. “Offensively (senior) Jordan Tucker and (junior) Kali Eaken played well, and our libero (senior) Becky Cazales played well.”
The Stags, 34-6, will meet Topeka Shawnee Heights, 29-12, in the semifinals at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
St. James, meanwhile, will take its 37-4 record into the semifinals against Kapaun, 37-7 (also at 2 p.m.).
“That was our goal to reach the semifinals and play another day of volleyball,” Thunder coach Nancy Dorsey said.
The Thunder won all three of its matches in Pool II play: The Thunder beat Topeka Shawnee Heights 25-17, 27-25; Newton 25-13, 25-21 and Mill Valley 25-17, 25-12.
If both the Thunder and the Stags win their semifinals matches, they would play for the title. St. James and Bishop Miege split two matches in December.
Mill Valley lost all three of its Poo1 II games on Friday and finished the season 32-8. First-year Mill Valley coach Whitney Revelle led the Jaguars to their first state tournament.