Volleyball

St. Joseph’s volleyball star begins Penn State career

Setter Gabby Blossom was a top player in high school at St. Joseph’s Academy and now will play volleyball for Penn State University.

Friends, family and fans of Gabby Blossom already knew of the St. Joseph's Academy volleyball star's athletic achievements, academic excellence and exemplary character, but it's public knowledge now.

The qualities are part of the selection of the Gatorade Player of the Year award, established in 1985 to recognize the nation's most elite high school student-athletes. Blossom was chosen the Missouri Volleyball Player of the Year, in addition to being named one of three finalists for the national award.

Confidence is a key for standout St. Mary’s team

St. Mary’s High School’s Gerardo Lopez at the net beat the block from Duchesne High School’s Bryce Edmonson and Luke Loewenstein. St. Mary’s won the inaugural Southside Classic volleyball tournament to begin the season, and had a 9-1 record as of April 11.

The confidence of the volleyball team at St. Mary's High School is easy to see.

When St. Mary's battled a tough Duchesne team to a 25-20, 25-22 victory April 10 to improve its record to 9-1 on the season, the players focused calmly on the task ahead. "We thrive on confidence," junior setter Justin Bridges said after the game.

The team's defense is stellar and the offense is improving each game, Bridges said. Against Duchesne, the aim was to contain Duchesne's hitters and, as the game went along, to do "a much better job blocking and playing defense on them," he said.

St. Pius state volleyball title is a testament to its seniors

St. Pius X volleyball players celebrated the team’s 25-10, 25-18 win over Hermann in the Class 2 state championship game Oct. 29.

The St. Pius X High School volleyball team's main goal from the beginning of the season was to bring home the state championship.

"The seniors had been so close (to a championship) for three years," Coach Dustin Cutts said. "Shelby Meyer, Jena Otec and Elle Russell have meant so much to this program for four years, and the rest of the team wanted to do everything they could do to help them get that first-place trophy."

Mission accomplished.

Energy, passion marks St. Pius volleyball success

St. Pius X High School defeated local rival Jefferson High School in two sets, 25-12 and 25-9. Emma Grimshaw hit the ball at the net as Jefferson's Sydney Weik went for the block.

A positive vibe flows through the St. Pius X girls volleyball team.

The tone is evident on and off the court, from the varsity's senior leadership on down for the team from the school in Festus.

"We come out with a lot of energy and passion, no matter who's on the court or what the score is," said Shelby Meyer, a senior who was named to the second team all-conference last season. "We keep that energy up, keep the momentum to win the game."

The team's cohesiveness comes from the players being so close. "There's no divisions," she said.

SLUH stays steady in winning volleyball championship

Lisajohnston@archstl.org  Ryan Whealen and Matt Coplen block a shot during St. Louis University High School's championship game.

At first there were five, then one.

St. Louis University High School was the one remaining Catholic school of the five that entered the semifinals of the Missouri Boys Volleyball State Tournament's two classifications.

SLUH faced Lafayette in the Class 4 finals and won in three sets, taking its eighth state championship, moving past St. John Vianney High School for the most championships in the classification.

Villa Duchesne's calm presence prevails in volleyball

The Villa Duchesne High School volleyball team celebrated on the court Oct. 31 after winning the state championship in Cape Girardeau over St. Pius X High School. Villas’ coach, Shane Weber, praised his team for its perseverance and resilience.

The volleyball season came to a close Oct. 31 in Cape Girardeau with Villa Duchesne coming out on top in Class 3. The team defeated St. Pius X of Festus 25-17, 25-10 for its second title in the sport, winning the school's first in 2011.

The team remained calm and never got flustered, said Villa Duchesne's coach, Sean Weber. "They just played. Their perseverance and resilience was exceptional. There's no doubt in my mind that's how we were able to win it all. We had our back up against the wall several times this year, and they always came through," Weber said.

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