3 of 4 Indiana State Volleyball Champions Defend Crowns in 2016

  0 Braden Keith | December 23rd, 2016 | High School, News

4 schools were named Indiana High School Girls’ Volleyball State Champions in early November on the Ball State University campus.

  • Class 4A (largest) – Indianapolis Cathedral def. Crown Point 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 25-20)
  • Class 3A – Yorktown def. Providence 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-22, 25-22)
  • Class 2A – Wapahani def. Covenant Christian (Indianapolis) 3-2 (22-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-22, 15-8)
  • Class 1A (smallest) – Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian def. Christian Academy of Indiana 3-1 (27-25, 25-13, 20-25, 25-20)

5 of the 8 teams that played in the state championship games, including 2 of 4 champions, were private schools. Three of the state’s champions (Indianapolis Cathedral, Wapahani, and Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian) successfully defended their state titles, while Class 3A saw a rematch of last year’s state title game, with the outcome reversed.

The 3A game was the most interesting, in that neither team was in the 3A classification two years ago. The IHSAA reclassifies schools every two years, and prior to last season, Providence was moved up from its traditional 2A, while Yorktown moved down from where it had resided in 4A. In both cases, the changes were the result of the Tournament Success Factor. This concept, rather unique to Indiana high school sports, promotes teams (at an individual sport level) to higher divisions, playing against bigger schools, based on their dominance within their own classification. Once moved up, programs have the option to stay – even if their success in the new class doesn’t mandate it.

In this case, Providence promoted to 3A after winning back-to-back 2A state titles in 2013 and 2014. The promotion didn’t negatively impact the team’s success – they had a better winning record the season after promotion, playing theoretically-tougher competition, and they won the state title with a 37-3 record in that first season.

This year, they returned to the state title game, but wound up falling to rivals Yorktown, who avenged their loss in last year’s championship and finished with a 37-1 overall record. Yorktown, by student body, is a 3A team, but after a run of dominance earlier in the decade were forced to promote to 4A. The success wasn’t enough there to remain, however, and so before the 2015 season, they were moved back down to 3A.

Below, find recaps and links to box scores for each of the 4 state championship games, courtesy of IHSAA:


  • Class 4A (largest) – Indianapolis Cathedral def. Crown Point 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 25-20)
  • Box Score

Fourth-ranked Indianapolis Cathedral repeated as Class 4A state champion taking a 25-21, 25-21, 20-25, 25-20 decision from top-ranked Crown Point at Worthen Arena in Muncie.

Cathedral (31-4) returned five starters from last year’s 36-0 titleist team and that experience paid off.

Senior Nia Robinson drilled the final two kills of the match and set the four-set state championship record with 27 eclipsing the 25 set by Cathedral alum Danita Merlau in 2004. Mattison Norris tallied 17 kills and Emily Kleck 13 for the Irish. Maria Schorr accounted for 57 assists and Payton White dug out 20 on defense.

The win over the Bulldogs (36-4) was the third regular season loss avenged by Cathedral (31-4) during the state tournament. The Irish had surrendered a five-set home loss to Crown Point back on Aug. 27 and had also taken out ninth-ranked Lawrence North in the sectional and second-ranked Avon at semi-state to earn the trip to Muncie.
It was school’s eighth volleyball crown, third-most in state history and all have come under the leadership of 27th year coach Jean Kesterson.

Crown Point (36-4) was led on offense by Alaina and Morgan Chacon with 19 and 16 kills, respectively. Alyssa Hill chalked up 17 digs on defense. The Bulldogs were making their first appearance in a volleyball state championship match under fifth-year coach Alison Duncan.


  • Class 3A – Yorktown def. Providence 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-22, 25-22)
  • Box Score

Providence had its eyes set on winning its fourth consecutive state championship, but Yorktown had  plans of its own with a 25-17, 21-25, 25-22, 25-22 victory in the Class 3A volleyball state championship.

In the rematch of last year’s final, Yorktown secured its third volleyball crown (2000, 2011) after settling for the runner-up spot a year ago. It was the school’s sixth state title in any sport.

Kenzie Knuckles led the Tigers with 30 kills and 18 digs. Knuckles’ 30 kills earned her the four-set kills state championship record, nearly doubling the previous record of 17. Teammate Kylie Murr also snagged 18 digs and Olivia Reed followed with 17 of her own. Setter Bella Rosenthall ended the night with 46 assists and Kate Vinson claimed three service aces in the game.

Ninth-year head coach Stephanie Bloom helped lead the Tigers to a 37-1 finish closing with 27 straight victories.

The Pioneers (34-6) were led by Marissa Hornung who totaled 17 kills, one block and 10 digs. Mia Fougrousse and Courtney Glotzbach grabbed 13 and 10 kills, respectively. Lexie Libs led Providence in assists with 48 while Cheyenne Brooks completed 21 digs.

Providence was led to their fifth consecutive state title match by 18th-year coach Terri Purichia. The Pioneers suffered their first tournament loss since their 2012 runner-up season snapping a string of 26 straight tournament matches.


  • Class 2A – Wapahani def. Covenant Christian (Indianapolis) 3-2 (22-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-22, 15-8)
  • Box Score

Skyler Van Note’s 28 kills helped rally Wapahani past Covenant Christian in five sets, 22-25, 25-17, 23-25, 25-22, 15-8, to claim their second consecutive Class 2A volleyball state championship.

Teammate Estella Davis followed Van Note with 22 kills and Lexi Spence, ranked second in the state in assists, tallied 61 for the match. Libero Havyn Gates snagged 26 digs in the back row while Van Note also totaled 18 for the Raiders.

Fourth-year head coach Jared Richardson led Wapahani (32-6) to its fifth volleyball state championship and fourth in the last six years. The team finished their regular season 31-6.

Covenant Christian was making its first trip to volleyball finals in school history, just the third team in any sport to make an appearance in the finals. The team was led by Rachel Newport who claimed 18 kills and 14 digs and Hope Notter who assisted on kills and also tallied 17 digs.

The Warriors (33-5) were led by first-year coach Brooke Stamper, a 2011 graduate of the school.


  • Class 1A (smallest) – Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian def. Christian Academy of Indiana 3-1 (27-25, 25-13, 20-25, 25-20)
  • Box Score

Olivia Martin’s record-setting performance spurred Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian to a 27-25, 25-13, 20-25, 25-20 victory over top-ranked, defending state champion Christian Academy of Indiana for the Class A volleyball state championship.

It was the school’s first volleyball state championship and fourth overall with the previous three all delivered in baseball in 2002, 2005 and 2006. The seventh-ranked Braves (31-5) closed with their 10th straight victory and knocked out a top 10 team for the third consecutive match with Saturday’s victory at Ball State’s Worthen Arena.

Martin tallied 27 kills, a Class A state championship four-set record. She hit .500 for the match and also led the team in digs with 15. Teammate Casey Bunner added 18 kills and Ally Barkhaus contributed 13 kills and tied Martin for team honors with 15 digs.

Third-year Braves coach Lindsay Roth guided her team to a 31-5 record in its first appearance in the state finals.

Christian Academy, which was making its third straight appearance in the final match, was led by Alli Stumler’s 24 kills. Sierra Rayzor killed 15 and Lexi Lester led the team with 14 digs. The Warriors (31-7) were coached by fifth-year leader Walter Pauly and settled for the runner-up spot for the second-time in three years.

Olivia Martin named Mental Attitude Award Winner
At the conclusion of the state finals, the IHSAA Executive Committee, on behalf of Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, named Olivia Martin of Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian as the winner of the Class A Mental Attitude Award.

Olivia is a four-year starter for the Braves, and has helped lead her team to four consecutive Regional Championships and their first appearance in the state finals.

Voted a team captain this past season, she led Blackhawk Christian in kills, digs, and blocks. In addition to her success in the gym, Olivia was also a participant in the 2014 Beach Volleyball Nationals. As a leader on the court and in the classroom, Olivia is a member of her school’s National Honor Society and is an Honor Roll student.

Olivia is the daughter of Tom and Dee Martin of Fort Wayne. She plans to attended the University of Indianapolis to study Biology.

Each year the IHSAA Executive Committee selects a senior player who was nominated by her principal and coach and was determined to have best demonstrated mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability. Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, presenting sponsor of the IHSAA Mental Attitude Award in Class 1A Volleyball, will donate $1,000 to Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian’s general scholarship fund in the name of Olivia Martin.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of VolleyMob.com. Braden's first foray into sports journalism came in 2010, when he launched a swimming website called The Swimmers' Circle. Two years later, he joined SwimSwam.com as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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