INDIANAPOLIS — The No. 4-ranked Avon volleyball squad knocked off No. 7 Perry Meridian in straight sets (25-21, 25-16, 25-21) on Saturday, claiming its 12th straight sectional title.
“They’re all different,” Avon coach Scott McQueen said. “They’re all different kids, they’re all different groups, even if it’s not a ton of changing. I’m pretty proud of this group’s improvement.”
The 2011 state runner-ups now look to start another streak, consecutive appearances in the state championship game. However, this time around they hope to claim a victory in the final game.
“For us, it’s another step,” McQueen said. “We’re proud, but we know it’s a seven step process and you can’t get to the seventh step without those first three steps. That was our goal this weekend and that’s where we’re at.”
It was truly an all-around effort Saturday night with different girls leading in different categories. That, and Avon’s ability to jump out to early leads, proved too much for Perry Meridian.
“It makes it real hard for teams to stay with us especially when we have more offense in the lineup and when we can handle the ball like we did,” McQueen said.
Beth Prince led the team with 18 kills and Emily Graves followed with seven. Rebekah Strange had 19 digs and Brooke Peters added 13.
“I thought we had a lot of kids really step up,” McQueen said. “Kennedy Wilson played great in the first game for being a freshman out there. Shelby Connors played amazing throughout the match. Obviously, Beth (Prince) had some really good swings and did a nice job, but between those two and Bekah and Brooke passing, I felt overall very well the whole match.”
Connors amassed 11 blocks on the night, followed by Kayla Springer who had five. Rachel Griffin also did her part at the net with 35 assists. That seemed to be the main struggle for Perry Meridian, getting past Avon’s front line.
“I think we all just played really well for the first time in a while,” Connors said.
Connors’ 11 blocks was a number that stood out to McQueen. It showed just how the Orioles took Perry Meridian off of its game.
“She did a great job of blocking,” McQueen said. “They were telling me in the third game that she got her 11th block, which is an amazing number.
“We did a great job of playing to what the game plan was. We did a really nice job of controlling and taking them out of their game plan.”
The girls will have a little time to celebrate, but coach McQueen and the girls know they have to get right back at it if they want to advance further in the state tournament.
As for claiming their 12th sectional title in a row, it’s a great accomplishment to the team but they’re already looking to what’s next.
“He [McQueen] always just tells us to keep our composure and that everyday matters and it’s always important to do your best,” Connors said. “We focus on just playing the best we can, winning every game and getting to state.”