For the first time in program history, the St. Michael volleyball team walked away with a state title.
The Lady Cardinals (25-4) upended the Mogollon Lady Mustangs (21-8) in the championship game of the Class 1A state volleyball finals last Saturday night at North High School in Phoenix. The set scores were 29-27, 20-25, 25-23, 25-18.
“This means everything to us right now because every year we’ve come close and we always fall short,” St. Michael senior middle hitter Delilia Nakaidinae said. “These past three years it’s been quarterfinals and semifinals and I feel like this year was our year. We had a lot of returning players and we worked so hard in everything we had. Everybody stepped it up.”
After going back and forth in this seesaw affair it was senior Paige Laughing who delivered the winning point with a kill attempt.
“I gave it everything I had to get that last point,” said Laughing, who shared the same sentiment as Nakaidinae.
“A lot of us on this team are seniors,” she said. “We’ve been through this many times and we wanted it (the state title) for a long time. We finally made the finals and we won it.”
St. Michael coach Andrea Ashkie said winning the state title was a long time coming for her program and she credited her team for putting in the time and effort to reach their goals.
“This is so satisfying and so rewarding,” she said. “Seeing the girls play their best and executing our plays is exciting to see.”