Lady Knights Shoot for State Volleyball Title - The Missourian: Sports

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Lady Knights Shoot for State Volleyball Title

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Posted: Friday, November 8, 2013 1:45 pm

It’s what they’ve worked for all season long.

And, for some members of the Borgia volleyball Lady Knights (30-3-1), the quest to make it to the MSHSAA Championships has taken much longer than that.

“This has been a couple of years coming,” said Borgia Head Coach Brad Bruns. “The seniors have great leadership. We’re just trying to push ahead and take care of business at state.”

It’s Borgia’s first state tournament appearance since 2010, when the current seniors were freshmen.

“We want a state championship,” Bruns said. “That’s what our goal is. We’re focused. The girls want more than just having the experience of just going down there. I think that they’re going to work hard enough. I think the lack of experience of going to a state tournament is stacked against us, but we’ve had stuff stacked against us all season long. We’ve always found a way to fight through.”

Borgia plays Friday and Saturday at Southeast Missouri State’s Show-Me Center in the Class 3 division.

Pool matches Friday are against:

• Carl Junction (31-5-1) at 4 p.m.;

• St. Pius X of Kansas City (28-6-2) at 6 p.m.; and

• Lutheran South (19-10-3) at 8 p.m.

All teams will play again Saturday depending upon their pool play finish.

The top two teams from pool play will meet for the championship at 7:30 p.m.

The third-place match for the other two teams takes place at 1:30 p.m.

Borgia has played two of the three teams this season and has beaten both Lutheran South (Borgia Tournament) and Carl Junction (Springfield Classic). The squad has knowledge of St. Pius X, having faced off against that team at the Mizzou team camp last summer.

Borgia is playing in its 17th state tournament and has won nine state titles while finishing second six times and third once. The Lady Knights have never finished fourth.

That’s what is known about the event.

What many may not know is that there are many traditions and connections among the Borgia players and families both to the state tournament and to the championship location in Cape Girardeau.

Family Ties

Senior setter Janie Arand and junior defensive specialist Molly Arand have many reasons to look forward to playing in Cape Girardeau.

Both of their parents, Chris and Laura (Dill) were Southeast Missouri State athletes. Additionally, their aunt, Julie (Dill) Danaher, played at Southeast.

“After my mom went to state and my aunt won state twice, it’s just really exciting just to bring our team back there,” Janie Arand said. “Cape Girardeau is where we belong.”

Laura Arand, a member of the first Borgia state team in 1984, was an academic All-American setter with the team, then called the Otahkians. Julie Danaher played outside hitter for the team.

Chris Arand played basketball for the Indians. While neither parent played at the Show-Me Center (completed after Chris Arand played and the volleyball team still plays at Houck Fieldhouse), it’s still a trip to their parents’ past.

“It really is overwhelming,” Laura Arand said. “It’s a dream come true for both Chris and I. To go and watch our kids enjoy that campus and that whole experience is a dream come true for us. We’re so excited for the team and to sit back and watch them experience all of this has been really exciting for us.”

Janie and Molly’s cousin, freshman outside hitter Audrey Arand, also is looking forward to playing at the state tournament.

“I can’t believe it. I’m really excited,” Audrey Arand said. “I’m glad for the seniors because they’ve never gone before. It’s going to be a great experience for everybody.”

 While only a freshman, Audrey Arand already has some big match experience. Competing for CYC 14 Green, Audrey played in the USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships 14 Open semifinals last summer in Dallas.

“Just stay calm and don’t think about how many people are watching,” is Audrey’s advice to her teammates about playing in that situation. “Just go with it and play like you always do.”

The Kriete family also has links to Borgia’s storied past.

Assistant Coach Julie (Kriete) Lackey came through the program, earning two state titles (1989 and 1990) before going on to play volleyball at Rockhurst University.

Lackey’s nieces, junior outside hitter Jordan Kriete and sophomore rightside hitter Emma Kriete, start for this year’s team.

“I’m really excited,” Emma Kriete said. “I can’t wait. I’ve heard all of the stories and that just makes me want to go even more.”

Emma’s cousin, Jordan, hopes for the best.

“It feels amazing,” Jordan Kriete said. “I’m so excited. I hope we do good there.”

She said the entire Borgia program is a family, not just those who are related by blood.

“It’s with different people,” Jordan said while contrasting this experience with her nationals experience at the club level. “Borgia is more of a family thing. It just feels closer. I’m just glad we get to experience that this year.”

Seniors Return

Borgia’s four seniors (Janie Arand, Clara Blatt, Sarah Geatley and Erin Hillerman) were freshmen the last time the Lady Knights advanced to the state tournament. At that time, the event was held at the Kansas City Memorial Auditorium. None played in the tournament.

“We had a long conversation at practice about how it’s not good enough to just go down there,” Bruns said. “We’ve already accomplished that and the other three schools have as well.”

It’s taken three years for the seniors to realize their dream to be able to play in the state tournament.

“I’m so excited,” Janie Arand said. “The last two years, we’ve gotten beaten in sectionals and quarterfinals. To finally get this one is huge. I’m really excited and proud of everyone.”

Geatley, a middle hitter, played a key role in Borgia’s sectional victories.

“It’s great,” Geatley said about advancing to the state event. “I hope we go all the way and win it. I think we can for sure. It will be a fun weekend.”

Hillerman, a middle hitter, is ready to play.

“It feels absolutely amazing,” Hillerman said. “I couldn’t ask for a better season. Everyone has put their time and effort into practice. We have everything to give to this team and we’re right here. All we have to do is push through and we’ll come out on top.”

Blatt, a defensive specialist, is hopeful that the team can perform in Cape Girardeau.

“I just hope we can bring home another board for our school,” Blatt said. “This is such a great opportunity to win another state title for Borgia and be a part of the team that gave Borgia another state title.”

School Sendoff

Borgia’s entire student body surprised the team with a big sendoff Thursday morning.

Borgia’s students, and those visiting from Immaculate Conception, formed a tunnel through the halls and out to the bus.

“The excitement today is a big deal for them and it’s great for the school,” Bruns said. “Once we get down there, I think we’ll sit down and start talking about our goals for the weekend and what we’ve wanted to achieve the entire season and how to accomplish that.”

Borgia had a practice session at the Show-Me Center Thursday afternoon.

“I think once we practice and talk, I think things will come into perspective pretty quickly once we get back onto the court and start working again,” Bruns said. “Right now, I just want them to enjoy it, enjoy the ride down there and have a great time because we’re back to business once we get there.”

Bruns knows many of the students also will be going to the state tournament.

“It sounds like we’re going to have an amazing crowd,” Bruns said. “We’re taking down three pep buses. Almost 118 kids are coming down on pep buses. We have had great family support. Our families have been incredible, the players have been incredible and our student fans have been incredible. We just hope we can give them a state championship this year and bring something home for them.”

Traditions

The MSHSAA courtside traditions program will honor the 1993 Borgia state championship team this weekend as well.

Mike Tyree’s Lady Knights defeated Eldon, 15-11, 15-5, to finish the year at 33-3-1.

At the time, it was Borgia’s sixth state title and that tied the state record for most championships along with Incarnate Word Academy and Santa Fe.

The courtside traditions program honors past champions from past milestone tournaments.

Bruns Homecoming

It’s a double homecoming for Bruns.

After graduating from Washington High School, Borgia’s head coach attended Southeast Missouri State University before eventually earning his degree from Columbia College.

“It’s always nice to go back to Cape Girardeau,” Bruns said. “I haven’t been back in quite a while. Right now, my mind is focused entirely on volleyball.”

Bruns also was an assistant coach under Tyree the last time Borgia won a state title in 2004.

That was the ninth, and final, state title for Tyree, who is now enshrined in the Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association hall of fame.

After that season, Bruns moved to become the head coach at Fontbonne University, where he registered the first of his 200-plus victories as a head coach. He took that program to the NCAA Division III national tournament in his first year.

Bruns restarted the East Central College volleyball program in 2007 and led the Falcons to three NJCAA Division II national tournaments before stepping down after the 2010 season.

After staying active with club teams, Bruns returned to the high school ranks in 2012 with Borgia.

For many, playing in a state tournament can be a distraction, especially if a team hasn’t traveled for an overnight event during the season.

One positive for Borgia is that Bruns has experience in moving teams, planning for lodging and playing matches far from home.

/sports

Area Scoreboard

Area Sports Schedule

American Legion Baseball

Senior Legion

Tuesday, July 1

*Daniel Boone 14, Pacific 3

*Washington 20, Sullivan 5

Wednesday, July 2

*Daniel Boone 8, Pacific 2

*Washington 11, St. Peters 1

Thursday, July 3

*Washington 11, St. Charles 0

Friday, July 4

*Pacific at St. Peters    1:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 5

*Washington 20, Pacific 1

Sunday, July 6

*Washington 11, Warrenton 2

Monday, July 7

Washington 9, Creve Coeur 7

Blue Springs Wood Bat Tournament

Wednesday, July 9

Washington 7, Gravette Lions 0

Thursday, July 10

Washington vs. Post 339 West (Bellevue, Neb.), Blue Springs South High School, 2 p.m.

Friday, July 11

Washington vs. Geiger Redi-Mix (Leavenworth, Kan.), Hidden Valley No. 1, 11:30 a.m.

Washington vs. Hawthorne Outlaws (Lee's Summit), Jim Moran Field (Hidden Valley), 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

Washington vs. TBA, TBA

Sunday, July 13

Semifinal Games, 11 a.m.

Championship, 2 p.m.

Junior Legion

Tuesday, July 1

*Union 5, New Haven 0

*Union 7, New Haven 4

*St. Charles 12, Pacific 5

Thursday, July 3

*Union 13, Hannibal 2

*Union 10, Hannibal 3

*Elsberry at Pacific    7 p.m.

Saturday, July 5

*Daniel Boone at Pacific (DH)    10 a.m.

Union 6, Crocker 5

Union 13, Crocker 7

Freshman Legion

Tuesday, July 1

*Washington 16, Pacific 1

Wednesday, July 2

*Washington 11, St. Peters 0

Ninth District Tournament Schedules

Junior Legion

Tuesday, July 8

At Union High School

G1 (1) Elsberry 3, (8) New Haven 0

At Ronsick Field

G4 (3) Washington 7, (6) Wentzville 1

G4 (2) Union 8, (7) Hannibal 1

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G2 (5) St. Peters 8, (4) St. Charles 6

Wednesday, July 9

At New Haven

G5 Wentzville 4, New Haven 0

G6 St. Charles 8, Hannibal 7 (9 innings)

At Ronsick Field

G7 St. Peters 5, Elsberry 2

G8 Washington 2, Union 1

Remainder at Ronsick Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 Union vs. Wentzville, 6 p.m.

G10 Elsberry vs. St. Charles, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, July 11

G11 St. Peters vs. Washington, 6 p.m.

G12 G9 winner vs. G10 winner, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

G13 G11 loser vs. G12 winner, 2 p.m.

G14 Championship — G11 winner vs. G13 winner, 5 p.m.

Sunday, July 13

G15 If-Needed Game — G14 winner vs. G14 loser, 2 p.m.

Ninth District Tournament Schedules

Freshman Legion

Tuesday, July 8

At Elsberry Legion Field

G1 (1) St. Charles 7, (8) St. Peters 0

G2 (4) Elsberry-Winfield 4, (5) Wentzville 3

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G3 (3) Hannibal 3, (6) Warrenton 2

G4 (2) Washington 10, (7) West 1

Wednesday, July 9

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G5 St. Peters 17, Warrenton 6

G6 Wentzville 5, West 4

At Elsberry Legion Field

G7 St. Charles 10, Elsberry-Winfield 2

G8 Washington 3, Hannibal 0

Remainder at Elsberry Legion Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 Hannibal vs. St. Peters, 6 p.m.

G10 Elsberry-Winfield vs. Wentzville, 8:30 p.m.

Friday, July 11

G12 G9 winner vs. G10 winner, 6 p.m.

G11 St. Charles vs. Washington, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

G13 G11 loser vs. G12 winner, 1 p.m.

G14 Championship — G11 winner vs. G13 winner, 4 p.m.

Sunday, July 13

G15 If-Needed Game — G14 winner vs. G14 loser, 1 p.m.

Swim Team Schedules

Washington Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Oaks Landing    Washington 192-100

6-16    Westglen    Washington 259-206

6-23    at Fox Creek    Washington 311-225

6-30    at Chadwick    Chadwick 264-258

7-7    Cherry Hills    Washington 291-140

Pacific Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    Lake of the Woods    LOtW 176-130

6-16    at Union    Union 289-220

6-23    Bridle Creek    Pacific 371-124

6-30    at Arbor Oaks    Pacific 282-241

7-7    at Indian Hills    Cancelled, weather

7-12    Division Meet    8 a.m.

Union Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Arbor Oaks    Union 180-120

6-16    Pacific    Union 289-220

6-23    at Lake of the Woods    LoTW 312-201

6-30    Indian Hills    Union 322-275

7-7    Bridle Creek    6 p.m.

7-12    at Division Meet, Pacific    8 a.m.

Pacific Diving Team

Date    Opponent    Time

6-14    at MAC West    MAC West 40-30

6-21    at Lindgate    Lindgate

6-28    at Cool Dell    9 a.m.

7-13    at Championships    8 a.m.

Great Midwest Football League

July 5

Missouri Cyclones 22, Midwest Chargers 14

Ninth District Standings

July 1, 2014

District Games Only

Senior Legion

Team    Wins    Losses

West    11    2

Daniel Boone 262    9    3

Washington 218    11    5

St. Charles 312    9    5

Elsberry 226    8    5

Wentzville 323    5    5

St. Peters 313    7    7

Pacific 320    3    10

Warrenton 122    0    10

Sullivan 18    1    12

2014 Final Standings

Junior Legion

Team    Wins    Losses

Elsberry 226    20    2

Union 297    19    3

Washington 218    18    4

St. Charles 312    14    8

St. Peters 313    12    10

Wentzville 323    12    10

Hannibal 55    10    12

New Haven 366    9    13

Daniel Boone 262    5    14

Warrenton 122    3    16

Pacific 320    3    15

Sullivan 18    0    20

Freshman Legion

Team    Wins    Losses

St. Charles 312    20    0

Washington 218    17    3

Hannibal 55    16    4

Elsberry-Winfield 226    14    6

Wentzville 323    9    11

Warrenton 122    8    12

West    7    13

St. Peters 313    6    14

New Haven 366    5    15

Pacific 320    4    16

Elsberry 226    4    16

*Indicates League Games

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