High School Sports

Meridian knew it had a tough test to reach state, but the Trojans didn’t back down

Though it came one win short of punching its ticket to state, the Meridian volleyball came away from the Class 1A bi-district tournament Saturday at King’s High School with plenty to be proud about.

First and foremost was a 26-24, 25-12, 25-16 over Annie Wright in an elimination match.

“The first game against Annie Wright, I think we were little nervous at the beginning,” coach Shannon Claeys, “but we finished the set with win, and the rest of game we turned it on and played great.”

Leading the way for the Trojans (7-12) were Kyrin Baklund with 11 kills, two aces and 23 digs; Jolee Sipma with nine kills, four aces and 13 digs; Karly VanderYacht with four aces; and Bailey Gardner with 31 assists and three kills. The team had 75 digs in the match.

The victory sent Meridian on to a tough winner-to-state matchup with King’s, which ended the Trojans’ season with a 25-16, 25-16, 25-18 victory.

“We knew it was going to be a tough match,” Claeys said. “We knew they’re a really good team with some really good hitters. ... What I was really proud of is the way the girls didn’t give up, even when we were down.”

In that match the Trojans were led by Makenzie Flake’s seven kills; Sipma’s six kills and four blocks; Isabella Johnson’s four aces; Carli Vandenhaak’s nine digs and VanderYacht’s 92.9 percent serve percentage and one ace.