Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Beaumont's run to the DII state volleyball championship was magical

When I drove down to Dayton on Thursday to cover the 38th annual state girls volleyball tournament, I had no idea I would come back with a championship.
Not me personally, but Beaumont in the Division II finals.
In their first trip to the championship, the Blue Streaks defeated Norwalk, 25-18, 18-25, 25-15, 16-25, 15-8. The match was intense as you can imagine.
The emotion was high for both teams (the Truckers were also making their first appearance in the state finals).
In the end, the Blue Streaks limited their errors and went on a 4-0 run to clinch the win. During the run, Loyola of Maryland recruit Lauren Youngblood had two kills. Division I recruit Molly Davet had one of her own and the Truckers had a bad set.
It was thrilling to watch.
What I especially enjoyed was the pure sense of joy after the Blue Streaks won the title. They piled on top of one another in the middle of the court and cheered wildly. Thirteen-year head coach Pat Royer shook his head in disbelief.
After a season of many highs and lows, the Blue Streaks achieved their ultimate goal.
"When we started off the season, we had this goal in mind in our first open gym," senior libero Marin Jerse said. "We definitely went through a lot as a team this season. We had a lot of injuries and had some games we should have won and lost because of injuries.
"We really came together as a team. We fought through every downfall we had. We kept our goal. We never let our goal get out of sight. The fact that we were able to do this is just unreal. It's a dream."
The Blue Streaks finished the year 22-7. Their losses included two to North Coast League opponent Parma Padua Franciscan (which Norwalk defeated in the regional final to advance to state).
I think the difference this year was the Blue Streaks knew what to expect. Last year when they made it to state for the first time in school history and lost in the state semifinals, the Blue Streaks were overwhelmed by the entire experience.
This year, they knew what to expect.
They were ready for the bright lights, big gym and the locker room.
When they took the court, they were confident, and it showed.
I was so excited to be a part of it. It was an honor to be in Dayton to cover them.
Thanks for the ride Blue Streaks.

-Theresa Neuhoff Audia

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