Sacred Heart Wins Kentucky State Title in Dominant Fashion

  0 Braden Keith | January 01st, 2017 | High School, News

Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville was been crowned the 2016 Kentucky High School volleyball champions. The tournament was held from November 4th-6th at Valley High School’s 3,000 seat arena in Louisville.

This was the second volleyball state title in program history, matching one they won in 2013, and the squad came away as one of the most dominant teams in state history. At the four-round state tournament, Sacred Heart lost only 1 set (in the final), and outscored their opponents 319-211 to complete a 40-4 season overall.

The team had the best hitting percentage of the tournament (.314), the second-staunchest defense (.103), and led all teams in assists, kills, and blocks-per-set.

In the championship game, Sacred Heart took a 3-1 victory over Henry Clay (25-19, 25-13, 19-25, 25-19) to finish their 40-4 season.

In the championship game, and all tournament long, Sacred Heart was led by seniors Lauryn Bennett and Paige Hammons. In the championship game, Bennett recorded 16 kills and and 9 blocks, while Hammons chipped in 19 kills and 5 blocks. Bennett’s effort included a .481 hitting percentage in the championship game.

Besides the state title, the two each received individual recognition for their effort. Hammons was named the 2016 state tournament MVP, having recorded 4.92 kills/set at the state level – .72 more than anybody else did in the tournament.

Bennett, meanwhile, was named the KHSAA Student-Athlete of the Year. Bennett ranked in the tournament top 10 in hitting percentage (.534 – 2nd), kills/set (3.38 – 10th), and blocks/set (1.15 – 3rd).

Hammons will play at the University of Florida next season, while Bennett is headed to Division III academic powerhouse Emory University in Atlanta. Northern Kentucky commit Kaelin Gentile added 10 kills in the final game, while senior setter Nadie Dieudonne, who is headed to Xavier next year, was also named to the all-tournament team.

Henry Clay could be back in this game next season. Among their top 4 hitters and top 3 blockers, they only graduate one after this season – senior Hallie Shelton, who had 14 kills (but hit just .016) in the championship game. Kaitlyn Hord, who had 12 kills, 4 blocks and a .425 percentage, will return for her senior season next year.

Shelton and Hord were two of three players from Henry Clay also named to the all-tournament team, along with senior libero Darby Music (a Western Kentucky commit).

The state tournament this year was auspicious with the absence of Assumption High School – the best program since the KHSAA first sponsored volleyball in 1979 with 19 state titles. The defending state champions from last year fell to Sacred Heart in the regional championship game 3-1.

Game Information

2016 KHSAA Volleyball Championship All‐Tournament Team

  • Alexa Davis, Greenwood
  • Leigh Grubb, Raceland
  • Alexis Rich, West Jessamine
  • DeLaney Rideout, Apollo
  • Kelly ONeil, Mercy
  • Isabel Salameh, Mercy
  • Madison Clements, North Oldham
  • Brooke Hammons, North Oldham
  • Darby Music, Henry Clay
  • Hallie Shelton, Henry Clay
  • Kaitlyn Hord, Henry Clay
  • Lauryn Bennett, Sacred Heart
  • Nadia Dieudonne, Sacred Heart
  • Most Valuable Player – Paige Hammons, Sacred Heart

Midway University/KHSAA Female Student‐Athlete of the Year

  • Lauryn Bennett, Sacred Heart


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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of 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 as a co-founder. Long huge fans of volleyball, when Braden and the SwimSwam partners sought an opportunity to …

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