The Oklahoman

Mount St. Mary wins 5A title; Jenks rallies for 6A crown

- High School Insider Nick Sardis The Oklahoman USA TODAY NETWORK

Mount St. Mary made its second straight appearance in the Class 5A volleyball state title match Tuesday night in Verdigris.

After not losing a set during regionals and the state quarterfinals and semifinals, the defending runner-up Rockets met Carl Albert with everything on the line.

Mount St. Mary showed up ready to play.

The Rockets made sure their season didn’t have the same ending as last year, defeating Carl Albert 25-11, 21-25, 25-13, 25-21 at Verdigris Activity Center for their third volleyball state championsh­ip.

Setter Shelby O’Steen and outside hitter Hadley Moses, both seniors, led Mount St. Mary’s offense, while the Rockets (39-6) also got valuable contributi­ons from sophomore outside hitter Ally Fees and freshman setter Liv Ward.

Carl Albert (24-11) presents several challenges to opponents and is led by junior Emily Boyer. Taming her was one of Mount St. Mary’s main priorities.

“We also knew that Carl Albert was a really tough defensive team,” Mount St.

Mary coach James Ward said. “They keep the ball off the floor, so we really had to work and find ways to score.”

Mount St. Mary opened the match with a dominant set, winning by 14. The Titans, who were playing in their first state title match in program history, responded with a 25-21 victory, but Mount St. Mary comfortabl­y won the third set and sealed the title with a 25-21 triumph.

Mount St. Mary lost to Tulsa Victory Christian in the 2020 title match. Before this season, the Rockets thought they’d likely have to beat the powerhouse again for the championsh­ip, but Tulsa Victory Christian moved down to 4A.

“We really wanted another shot at Victory Christian,” Ward said. “After the classifications came out, we found out Victory Christian was in 4A. I was mildly concerned that we might lose our motivation at that point, but we held pretty strong. They wanted to win state no matter who they played.”

Mount St. Mary and Tulsa Victory Christian both finished as state champions.

Tulsa Victory Christian beat Tulsa Regent Prep on Saturday for its fifth consecutiv­e title, and Mount St. Mary claimed its first championsh­ip since 2016.

Class 6A

Jenks 3, Norman North 2: Norman North was one set away from capturing its first volleyball state title.

Although the Timberwolv­es lost their first set to Jenks in the 6A state title match Tuesday night, they claimed the next two and had all the momentum.

But Jenks, which rallied from behind to upset defending champion Tulsa Kelley in the semifinals Monday, had one more comeback in store.

The Trojans overcame the deficit and defeated Norman North 25-21, 16-25, 2125, 25-16, 15-7 at Verdigris Activity Center for their fifth volleyball state championsh­ip and first since 2014.

Middle blocker Mikiah Perdue and libero Megan Salyer paved the way for Jenks (31-8), which trailed 2-1 in its final two matches of the season before coming back and earning wins.

Senior Lari Migliorino led Norman North with 15 kills. Fellow senior Sarah Lindley finished with 10, and junior Katie Kolar had nine. Senior libero Ali Woodrow reached 1,000 career digs during the match.

Despite losing in the finals, the season will go down as arguably Norman North’s best in school history. The Timberwolv­es (30-6) took down some stellar opponents and entered Tuesday on an 18-match win streak.

 ?? IAN MAULE/TULSA WORLD ?? Mount St. Mary’s Georgia Albert (3) cheers with teammates after scoring during the Class 5A volleyball state championsh­ip Tuesday in Verdigris.
IAN MAULE/TULSA WORLD Mount St. Mary’s Georgia Albert (3) cheers with teammates after scoring during the Class 5A volleyball state championsh­ip Tuesday in Verdigris.
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