After years of struggle, the St. Francis Borgia Regional boys volleyball Knights are starting to see success.
It’s already been a breakthrough season for the Knights (6-10).
The Knights lost in two games Thursday at O’Fallon Christian. Game scores were not available as of deadline.
Borgia closes the regular season Friday with a 3 p.m. match at Lutheran St. Charles.
“We’re massively improved from years past,” Borgia Head Coach CJ Steiger said. “The boys played really hard and we’re going in the right direction.”
Steiger said interest in the program has grown and having a full junior varsity team with a knowledgeable coach has helped.
“Having a JV program with Brittany Leesmann coaching that helps a lot with development and competing with these schools,” Steiger said.
The Knights go to St. Mary’s Saturday for Class 3 District 3 action in the Missouri Boys Volleyball State Tournament.
Borgia will open play against Rockwood Summit in a play-in match at 10 a.m. Borgia is seeded fifth and the Falcons are the fourth seed.
“We have a very decent chance of competing,” Steiger said. “If we play up to our abilities, we have a very decent chance of coming away with our first district win ever.”
The winner will advance to play top-seeded St. Mary’s Monday at 5 p.m.
Webster Groves is the second seed in that district while Ft. Zumwalt South is seeded third and Lutheran St. Charles is sixth.
Parkway Central, Affton and Duchesne are other district top seeds. The other second seeds are Oakville, Cape Notre Dame and Chaminade.
St. Mary’s, a power in the Archdiocesan Athletic Association, defeated Borgia on senior night at the Wingbermuehle Activity Center, 25-20, 25-15.
“There’s a reason why St. Mary’s is competing for the state title every year,” Steiger said. “They’re a very good program. We competed very well, especially in the second set. We hung with them the first part of it. The better team pulled away at the end.”
Borgia honored its seniors prior to the match, They are players Ray Mauntel, Noah Elbert, Josh Rohlfing, Eric Held and Andrew Simily and Manager Martha Glastetter.
The Knights had positives in both games, but couldn’t sustain the momentum and eventually fell.
Mauntel led the team in kills with three. Jacob Miesner was next with two kills. Elbert, Robert Halsted and Will Poepsel each had one kill.
Elbert recorded two solo blocks and two block assists. Mauntel and Eric Jankowski each had one solo block. Halsted posted two block assists.
Mauntel and Mitchel Mohesky each had nine digs. Halsted posted four. Poepsel added two while Miesner, Rohlfing and Jankowski posted one apiece.
Halsted served an ace.
Jankowski recorded eight assists.