Nov. 14, 2022
WARDSVILLE, Mo. —- Ask any coach, there’s no such thing as a perfect game. There’s always something.
You know how it goes.
Well, at the very least, the Blair Oaks Lady Falcons won the Class 3 state volleyball championship Thursday by the score of 3-0, 3-0, 3-0.
Perfect. You can’t do any better.
But really, that’s nothing, because this team had a perfect postseason.
Here’s a recap of the Lady Falcons’ match scores from districts to the state semifinals:
3-0, 3-0, 3-0 … 3-0, 3-0, 3-0 … 3-0, 3-0, 3-0 … 3-0, 3-0, 3-0 … 3-0, 3-0, 3-0.
As good as it gets.
“If you’d have told me a week and a half ago before districts that we wouldn’t lose a set the rest of the season,” third-year Blair Oaks coach Megan Distler said, “I’d have told you that wasn’t going to happen.
“It just shows the really hard work the girls have put in this season, to not only beat some really good teams this postseason, but to not let them win a set.
"That’s pretty awesome.”
This was an awesome team, rich and deep with talent, none more than 6-1 junior Autumn Bax.
“She’s a great player for us,” Distler said, “but not only a great player, she’s a great leader and a great kid to have on our team.”
How about this for great —- Bax had more than 500 kills this season and now has more than 1,000 for her career.
“She’s constantly pushing herself and everybody around her, to make everybody better,” Distler said. ”She’s been doing that since she was a freshman when she got called up to varsity.“
Libby Juergensmeyer was also a junior standout.“Libby had a really good year,” Distler said. “We kept her up on varsity last year so she could get some good experience with the girls and get some good touches.”
Juergensmeyer dished out over 1,000 assists this season alone.
“She’s really grown this year. She distributes the ball well and she’s a really smart player.”
Then there’s yet another talented junior, Bailey Braun.
“She is such a consistent player on the court,” Distler said. “She never gets overly excited and she never gets down on herself.
“She just goes after it every single point.”
Aubrey Hardwick and Tayla Prenger, who totaled more than 400 digs this season, were two of the impactful seniors.
“Tayla had big shoes to fill,” Distler said of Prenger, “and she filled them nicely. She brought great energy all the time and became a leader on the court.
“And Aubrey had her absolute best game in the state championship match.“
It was the second state championship in a row for the Lady Falcons (34-3-1), who are likely odds-on favorites to make it a three-peat next year.
“We’ve got some really good pieces coming back,” Distler said.
Winning never gets old.
“You’re right about that,” Distler said with a smile. “It’s been quite a ride with the girls this season, especially here at the end.
“We went through some growing pains early in the season, but the girls really grew and got better each and every game to push us to the end.”
And what a perfect ending it was.
Lady Falcons nab 2nd straight
volleyball state title --- perfectly