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Tulsa Private Schools Show Up Big at State Volleyball Championships


4A CHAMPS: Victory Christian volleyball players hold up their 2017 and 2018 state championship banners while being honored at halftime of a Conqueror football game on Oct. 18.



Three Tulsa area private schools capped off a memorable year on the volleyball court by capturing state championships in each of their respective classes. One school was victorious for a second straight year, one added to its legacy and another won for the first time in seven years.

Victory wins again
No. 2-ranked Victory Christian won the Class 4A state championship on Oct. 6 at Moore. The Lady Conquerors beat Christian Heritage 3-1 in the finals.

“It was exciting for us and the school to step out and represent,” junior Jaxie Wakley said. “We worked hard for it all year, and to actually win it is the greatest feeling.”
When Victory won state last year, it did so in Class 5A and it was the school’s first volleyball title.

En route to this year’s title, they won 3-1 (23-25, 25-12, 25-22, 25-23) against Crossings Christian, last year’s 3A champion, in the semifinals. The Lady Conquerors (32-6) would move on to defeat Christian Heritage, a four-time state champion. They would lose the first set before taking three straight.

The first set was tied 11 times before coming out in favor of Crossings Christian. Victory rolled in the second set. In the third set, Wakley stepped up making four of five points through kills during a series. She finished with 26 kills for the match.

“It (facing Christian Heritage) pushed us, because they were different than what we were used to,” Wakley said. “They played clean. We had to step up and couldn’t make any more mistakes.”

In the fourth and decisive set, senior Gem Summers scored seven points, including the clincher.

“It was really special because we worked hard this year,” Summers said. “It was extra special because it’s the second time.

“It was also special because I got to end with a win in my last game,” Summers added.
While Summers graduates, Wakley and several other players return next year.

“That’s (winning state next year) definitely in our thoughts,” junior Riley Matoon said. “Even though, we have seniors graduating, we have talent stepping up.”

Lincoln Christian wins 3A
Also on Oct. 6 in Moore, Lincoln Christian won its first state title since 2011.
It took the Lady Bulldogs (21-14) five sets to get the victory. They beat Oklahoma City Heritage Hall (25-14, 33-35, 23-25, 25-9, 15-5).

“We came together, we prayed, we used the energy of our school that came out and supported us. We built upon it and left it all on the court,” senior Mikala Keith said. “That’s all we could do. It’s something I’ll always remember. It was amazing.”

After dropping a marathon second set that went into the 30s, Coach Deidra Radar inserted freshman Chloe Ricke to help with serving purposes during the third. Although Lincoln would lose the third set, Ricke’s performance impacted the team in scoring their points, enabling them to roll in the last two to get the win.

“It was such a big deal because she is a freshman,” Keith said. “That was her first varsity tournament. As soon as she aced her serve, I was excited for her. She helped us win, honestly.”

Other factors highlighted the Lady Eagles’ season. Another senior, Emma Matthews, led the squad to become a cohesive unit.

“I wanted to make sure that everybody felt included because it would increase team unity,” Matthews said.

Lincoln was also a team comprised of youth.

“Most of us had not played varsity ball. We lost seven seniors last year,” sophomore libero Abby Cunningham said. “So, just gelling as a team, being so young, connecting and getting our timing right were some of the hurdles we overcame.”

Cunningham is one of many players who return next season, which gives the Lady Eagles a good chance to repeat.

Bishop Kelley adds another championship
Bishop Kelley won state for the first time since 2015, adding an 18th championship to its trophy case.

The Lady Comets won the Class 5A championship by beating OKC Mount St. Mary’s 3-1, (25-22, 17-25, 25-22, 28-26) on Oct. 16 in Oklahoma City. Mt. St. Mary’s had eliminated Kelley the previous two years.

Seniors Mady Washington and Amada Schildt pointed out how their class wanted its own title.

“Bishop Kelley has a lot of success in volleyball,” Washington said. “If you play volleyball, you look at those championships. But, that was paved before we were here. Those aren’t ours. So, it’s just really special to be able to come back here and look at the (2018) banner at the gym and know that’s going to be our number up there. It’s special to know that we kept it going.”

“We’ve talked since my freshman year about the legacy,” Schildt said. “We always remind ourselves that all those state championships on the wall, they’re not ours. We did not earn them. Other teams before us earned them.

“We decided we wanted to be part of that legacy so that when we left, people looked up at that banner and saw (the 2018 banner) that our team worked really hard to get there,” Schildt continued. “It felt amazing to win and to walk off that court knowing that we just finished our senior year with a state championship.”

Updated 11-19-2018

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