South Warren Volleyball captures two championships!
October 19, 2012By Bryan Priddy of South Warren Middle School
Spartans Make History As Both Volleyball Teams Capture District Titles
October 12, 2012
It was a wild, historical night for the Spartans volleyball teams. Both teams took the courts hoping to both win the district championships and complete their perfect seasons in district play. Coach Reels knew it would be a tough task for his young teams since no one in the district had ever done it before and standing in the way were two tough opponents. With all the other school’s fans cheering against the favored Spartans, the atmosphere was intense, but the Spartans were focused on one thing and one thing only, “One team, One mission, Two Titles”.
In the 7th grade match, South Warren faced a familiar championship foe in the St Joseph Saints. The Saints returned to the championship game for the third straight year in a row and once again stood between South Warren and the title. The first set was a clinic in Spartans volleyball as the two-time champions passed and served with precision and carved up the Saints defense with crushing kills. When the dust settled, South Warren took the first set easily winning by 18 points. In the second set, the Saints rallied behind the screaming fans and some Spartans unforced errors to take an early lead. With the score tied, Coach Reels called on Taylor Kirtley to give the team a spark and the opposite side hitter responded with 3 aces that put the set out of reach and allowed the Spartans (21-2, 14-0) to take the championship title 25-7, 25-20. The Spartans were paced by outside hitters Claire Stinson and Meredith Woods who had 5 kills each. The championship was the third in a row for South Warren 7th grade teams and was the third straight year the 7th grade team was undefeated in district play. The Spartans were represented with three players on the District All-Tournament Team outside hitter Nina Vespa, middle hitter Hannah Yonts, and tournament MVP setter Mary Pitts.
In the 8th grade match, South Warren was in a familiar position. Having just won the 7th grade title, the Spartans now needed to focus on the elusive 8th grade championship that Coach Reels wanted so badly. Across the net, the second place and upset minded Bowling Green Junior High Purples were ready to keep the Spartans from sweeping the championships. The crowd stirred into a frenzy with the start of the match, but the Spartans were undaunted as they kept the Purples off balance with pinpoint serving and hard kills at the net. After South Warren took the first set quickly, the Purples came out strong in the second set and took an early lead at 12-10. The Spartans pushed back and evened the score at 14-14. The Spartans then took the lead by one after a net call on the Purples, sending their fans into a chaos that included one fan being sent back to his seat by the official. With everything highly charged, the Spartans remained hyper-focused on their task and middle hitter Brooke Riley served South Warren to a 22-18 lead late in the match forcing a Purples time out. With Spartans’ and the opponents’ fans screaming cheers for their teams, Coach Reels gathered the team in the familiar arm behind each other’s back huddle and told the team to take the atmosphere in and remember it. The team all looked at each other and smiled knowing that their championship was minutes away. Under extreme pressure, 7th grader Nina Vespa served the final two points for the victory and the Spartans 8th grade team (26-3, 14-0) was the first back-to-back champion in district history, winning 25-13, 25-18. The Spartans had 3 representatives on the District All-Tournament Team middle hitter Brooke Riley, setter Lydia Jackson, and tournament MVP Brittany Reels. The 8thgrade team set many records this season, but the one Coach Reels is most proud of and claims may never be broken is that this team went two complete seasons and never lost a set in the district going an unbelievable 54-0 in set play and 27-0 in match play. Coach Reels said, “Words just can’t describe how amazed I was at these young ladies tonight. The determination and focus it takes to remain undefeated all season and win both district titles is unbelievable, but to win the championship matches in such a tough environment says great things about the heart of our players. I am so proud of them!”
Spartans 7th Grade Volleyball Team Rolls Into the District Championship
October 10, 2012
South Warren’s 7th grade volleyball team is one win away from completing the mission they began in the summer. Coach Reels has stated “One Team, One Goal, Two Championships” as the theme for this year’s volleyball season. Wednesday night the 7th grade team got one step closer to realizing that vision by rolling over the host Warren East Raiders 25-12, 25-17. The Spartans were led by a pair of middle hitters. Hannah Yonts had 8 aces and 3 kills while Alexa Davis added another 4 kills to pace the Spartans.
South Warren 8th Grade Volleyball Team One Step Closer to Perfection
October 11, 2012
The 8th grade volleyball team opened their tournament run with an easy 25-17, 25-9 straight set victory over the host Warren East Raiders. The Spartans will face off against Bowling Green Junior High on Friday night and attempt to complete a perfect season of district play. South Warren (25-3, 13-0) was led by a trio of Spartans on the night. Middle hitter Brooke Riley had 5 aces and a personal best 8 kills while outside hitter Brittany Reels had 5 aces and 4 kills. Setter Lydia Jackson rounded out the trio with 4 aces, 2 kills, and 10 total assists. South Warren will attempt to be the first school in history to win both the 7th and 8th grade championships. If successful, the Spartans will also be the first team to be undefeated in district play in both the 7th and 8th grade divisions.