SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — O’Gorman volleyball finished as state runner-up’s last season, and enter this year’s playoffs as the top-seed after finishing the regular season with an undefeated 22-0 record. If they wish to win their first state volleyball title since 2014, they’ll have to complete the perfect season.
They say practice makes perfect.
“We try to push each other in practices so we’re getting the best out of each other,” Senior Brynn Askew said.
That competitive spirit has the Knights on the brink of perfection.
“It’s been a lot of fun, especially playing with the other six seniors. We just have such a good bond, and the rest of the team too, like playing with them has been so much fun. Obviously the success makes it fun too,” Senior Raegen Reilly said.
O’Gorman’s resume this year features wins over every ranked AA opponent, the top ranked teams in Class A and B, and Iowa perennial power Western Christian.
“We get to see some different styles. Different classes kind of just play a different game of volleyball and so it’s fun for us to be able to match up against that, and kind of just get a taste of something else that we normally don’t see,” Head Coach Emily Byrnes said.
The Knights have dropped just 7 sets all season, with 5 of those coming in its last 4 matches, which they hope will prepare them for the postseason.
“We know a lot of team’s this year, because we’re undefeated, we know they’re always going to bring their best game against us, and they want to be our first loss,” Askew said.
“I think it’s great for us to have some tight sets and find ways to push through that adversity right now,” Byrnes said.
The Knights/ season has received national notice, as O’Gorman is ranked 11th in the most recent AVCA/USA Today national high school volleyball rankings.
“I think that’s pretty crazy because like you don’t hear that a lot for like schools from South Dakota,” Askew said.
“It’s a really cool recognition. But also, it means that we have to prove it, and work just as hard to show people that we do deserve that rank,” Raegen Reilly said.
There’s only one way to do that.
“We want to finish better than we did last year, and finishing better than last year means winning a state championship. So that’s been on our mind, and that’s been the goal all year, but it’s always been just one game at time,” Byrnes said.
O’Gorman will try to punch its ticket to the State Tournament tomorrow night against Spearfish in the SoDak 16.