The 2016 volleyball season kicked off on a very high note for the Shamrocks as the defending runner-up in Class One defeated the 18-time defending district champions Knights of St. Francis Borgia in a very exciting 2 set victory, 25-23 and 25-21. Junior Mackenzie Bauer finished the game with 2 aces and 12 digs, and fellow junior Kate Ruediger finished with a kill percentage of 38% (6-16) and 9 digs.
This victory also marked the first time the Shamrocks have beaten Borgia since 2011. Senior libero Kim Hoffman quoted that, “We always know Borgia will be a tough and competitive game, which we always look forward to. This gives us a huge confidence boost to start the season. We all hope to be the last Class One team standing at the final 4 in Cape Girardeau.”
Junior middle-hitter Lauren Gerlemann claimed, “For being the first game of the year, the team performed very well. We could have easily quit in that second set, but we didn’t. That says a lot about who we are as a team.” Coach Hoener commented on the team’s hopes and outlook for the season, stating that, “The girls are 100% capable of completing all of their goals that they have set for themselves. You can’t say enough about their work ethic and desire to win and be number one.”
It’s important to put into perspective how huge the impact is of defeating Borgia. The lady Knights returned 11 players from last season’s team, 8 of them seniors. Borgia began the season ranked 6th in the St. Louis Post Dispatch Small Schools Rankings (schools with enrollments of under 1,000). Borgia has since dropped out of the rankings.
The Knights have won 18 consecutive district championships and 29 total district crowns since 1984. They have also won 10 state championships in volleyball. Only Incarnate Word Academy (11) and Four Rivers Conference rival Hermann (12) have won more state titles in volleyball in the state of Missouri since the beginning of state volleyball in 1975.
The lady Shamrocks begin conference play this week with matches at Owensville Tuesday and Union Thursday. Congratulations to the lady Shamrocks and good luck this season!