The No. 1-ranked St. John High School volleyball team begins Class 1A Division-I state tournament pool play today in Hays.
This is the fourth straight time that defending state champion St. John has qualified for the state tourney, which will take place at Gross Memorial Coliseum on the Fort Hays State University campus.
“We’ve been there four years running now,” St. John head coach Trish Wade said. “It is an advantage for us, having so many girls play in the state tournament. It is calming, knowing that you’ve been there before.”
The Lady Tigers are 38-2 going into the state tournament, which has four of the five teams in the Kansas Volleyball Association poll.
“Last year, we had South Central and Spearville in our sub-state, so only one of the three ranked teams were able to go do state,” Wade said. “It’s frustrating when you’re playing a team you would like to see at state. I’ve seen film on the teams that are at the state tournament, and there are some good teams.”
In fact, the only team in the poll that isn’t in the tournament is South Central, which St. John beat at its sub-state tournament last Saturday.
St. John is in Pool 1, and will open the tournament against No. 8-seeded Waverly at 8:30 a.m.
The Lady Tigers will face No. 5-seeded and No. 5-ranked Cedar Vale at 10:30, and No. 4-seeded and fourth-ranked Thunder Ridge at 1:30 p.m.
Centralia, which is ranked No. 3, is in Pool 2.