Volleyball: Providence’s experience too much for Bishop Noll in 2A final
By Ryan Haskell Post-Tribune correspondent November 9, 2013 11:04PM
Bishop Noll's Carissa Jones (#12) lets out final Bishpp Noll cheer before receiving their runner-up medals at Worthen Arena in Muncie, IN on November 9, 2013. | Jim Karczewski\Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 11, 2013 6:57AM
MUNCIE — The hot dog, the bumblebee, Gumbi and everybody else in the Bishop Noll student body section turned their backs as the Providence starting lineup was announced before the Class 2A state championship match between the Warriors and Pioneers at Worthen Arena on Ball State University’s campus Saturday afternoon.
They couldn’t turn away much, however, when Providence was attacking on the court. They were stellar on the offensive end — especially junior middle hitter Taylor Wilson and her team-high 14 kills — as the Pioneers avenged their loss in the state championship match a year ago to Wapahani, winning the school’s first crown, 25-18 25-15, 25-20 against the Warriors.
“Being in the state final match for the second year in a row is like a dream come true for our team and our program,” Providence coach Terri Purichia said. “We achieved things no other team has accomplished. Our return to Muncie was really the burning desire for these kids for 365 days.
“We were disappointed to not put our forth our best effort last season so making a return and trying to do everything a little bit better has been our focus all season.”
The Pioneers were focused from the start jumping out to leads of 12-5 in Game 1, 9-2 in Game 2, and 15-10 in Game 3.
Noll (30-10) looked slow to the block on some occasions and just all-around nervous the first two games and it showed on the court.
“I know I was very nervous myself,” said senior Carissa Jones, who finished with two kills and five digs. “And I could see some of my teammates literally shaking so I had to tell them ‘It’s okay’ and that ‘We could do this.’”
Warriors coach Dave Rodriguez admitted that Providence’s experience in last year’s state championship match probably did help the Pioneers (36-4) as his team had no idea what to expect with its lack of experience.
“That team had won 44 sets in a row and 16 matches in a row,” he said. “They were a very high-caliber team and they were very fast. I thought we were fast off the floor until we played this team.”
Still, it wasn’t without, at least, a little drama. The Warriors did come back from a 21-15 deficit in the third game scoring four points in a row thanks to blocks by Jones and Asya Hobbs (7 kills, 2 blocks) making it 21-19 with Noll serving.
That’s when Purichia had to call her one and only timeout to help her team re-focus.
Carly Cappello, who led the Warriors with 14 kills and 13 digs, said her team showed a lot of heart in that last game.
“We were star struck those first two games,” Cappello said. “Instead of taking a couple points to get the nerves out, we needed two games. We showed some heart in the third game but by then it was too late.”
Despite finishing runners-up, there will be a parade in the Warriors’ honor at 1 p.m. on Sunday. All students and fans are encouraged to come out and cheer their team one last time.