St. James Academy came from behind in both games and beat Blue Valley West 25-11, 25-23 in the last match of the Fourth Annual Metro Sports Volleyball Slam on Saturday at St. James Academy.
By CHARLES REDFIELD
Special to The Star
The Thunder is rated No. 1 in Kansas Class 5A by the Kansas Volleyball Coaches Association, while the Jaguars are No. 2 in 6A.
Our teamwork helped us today. We emphasize it a lot, said St. James senior outside hitter Arianna Person said.
There were eight matches in the event, starting at 8 a.m.
The Jaguars had a 3-1 advantage in the first game of their match. St. James fought back, went ahead 10-8 and then cruised the rest of the game.
BV West seemingly had control of the second game, but the difference down the stretch was St. James 6-5 sophomore Audriana Fitzmorris. She had a block, three spikes and a dink after the score was 12-8 Blue Valley West.
Everyone on the team had a lot of fun, Fitzmorris said. It helped us to serve aggressively.
The Jaguars trailed 24-23 when a serve that went out of bounds gave the game to the Thunder.
We had a lot of missed opportunities and didnt adjust well in the first game, BV West coach Terry Flynn said.
The Jaguars had just had one senior in the starting lineup and two on the roster. They started two juniors, two sophomores, a senior and a freshman.
Thunder coach Nancy Dorsey said: They played good defense. We have to work on our serving. We played well offensively, but our defense and serving needs work.
We executed when we needed to today, but need to be more consistent.
St. James Academy started five seniors and Fitzmorris.
Fitzmorris was coming off a big summer with the United States team at the World Junior Championships in Thailand.
She was voted the best blocker in the tournament and helped the U.S. team finish second behind China.
Comparing the crowd at St. James with those in Thailand, Fitzmorris said: They are packed in so close here. They were mostly spread out in Thailand.
In the match before the St. James-BV West contest, Blue Valley, the No. 1 team in 6A, won the first game with St. Teresas Academy 25-20.
The Stars led 24-21 in the second game but couldnt put the Tigers away. Blue Valley ended up with a 28-26 victory.
| Charles Redfield, Special to The Star