It’s hard to stop a freight train, and it’s hard to stop Bishop Kelley from reaching the state tournament.
The Class 6A No. 1 Comets (28-5) streaked their way to a 36th consecutive regional championship on Tuesday night at the Eusebius S. Beltran Activities Center.
Moving up from 5A in 2020 has done little to slow down the powerhouse volleyball program, which won its 19th gold ball last year and appears to be on a collision course for another state finals appearance.
The Comets swept past Ponca City (5-13) and Booker T. Washington (15-21) in straight sets, winning 25-4, 25-10, and 25-7 against the Wildcats, and 25-15, 25-11, and 25-14 against the Hornets.
“We’re really proud to get to play Booker T.,” said head coach Jerri Berna. “They’re a fine team and we really enjoyed competing with them and the way they pushed us to have to overcome. We couldn’t be more excited to go to state.”
Bishop Kelley was led offensively by sophomore star Curry Kendall, who racked up 12 kills and two aces against the Hornets, with seven kills in the first set alone.
“Curry is absolutely one of the best outside hitters in the state,” Berna said. “We’re really proud of the work that she does and the balls she puts away, but I know she would also give a big shoutout to her team.”
There was no shortage of offensive firepower from the team. Brooke Goen scored nine kills, and Madeline Barton added six. Kate Schneeberg recorded 30 assists, while Milee Jackson and Jessica Shildt led the team on defense.
“This is probably the most parity there’s ever been in 6A,” said head coach Jerri Berna. “We’re really proud of the way we played tonight. We’re really quite honored to be part of such a legacy of 36 years in a row, and we’re just going to do the best we can to keep working up until the state tournament, see what the draw looks like and give it our best shot.”
Joining the Comets at State will be Edmond Santa Fe, Jenks, Edmond Deer Creek, Norman North, Edmond Memorial, Broken Arrow, and Owasso.
The Hornets defeated No. 16 Sand Springs (14-20) in straight sets to reach the finals, with sets of 25-12, 25-18, and 26-24. Taryn McIntosh scored eight kills, Makenzie Johns had seven kills, and Sydney Thompson scored six. Brenna Weaver and Bridget Johnson recorded 11 kills apiece.
Leading the Sandites was Kasidy Holland with seven kills, Teyha Johnson with 18 assists, and Charley Fahland with 15 digs.