Sand wins first state title after dominating Millenium


Sand volleyball is the second team at Perry to bring home a championship title. Despite not having their own home court, the team never quit and ended the season with a record of 12-1, losing only once Xavier Prep. These lady Pumas were ranked number four in the state and now hold a championship title.

The first partnership to win a set were seniors, Taylor Pennington and Portia Valdez. Pennington feels, “accomplished,” about the big win especially since it is her senior year, her last chance to win a championship with her high school teammates. Both of them were focused on the game and “doing what (they) know how to do,” Pennington stated, and Valdez agreed, “I wasn’t even paying attention to the score.”

The second duo to win a set was junior, Matea Suan and senior, Ellie McDonald. This win was an important win for these girls. McDonald was, “surprised and wasn’t really expecting it.” Suan was mostly just, “proud of everyone and their hard work.”

Though in the end they had four wins and only one loss this triumph was not easy, Suan, “took it one point at a time,” she continued with talking about how much she, “wanted it for (her) teammates.”

McDonald pointed out that, “none of this would be possible without the coaches,” and also wanted to, “thank (them) so much.”

Mann never once doubted his players, “I was pretty confident that they could pull it off.” Mann believed in his team because he knew they were capable of winning. He had faith in their talent, “There are girls that are really athletic and coordinated.” Also Mann knew his players had years of experience and hard work under their belts, “I was happy to have girls try out this year that were either sand club girls or higher level indoor players.”

Though the season ended on the best note possible, the girls still can not help but to grieve just a little. For example, Pennington will, “miss playing with (her) best friends,” and Valdez added in how much she will miss, “the team and the chemistry.”

The connection and talent that these girls have is going to be hard to replace but Coach Mann says he is not nervous about next year, “We hope to continue to recruit the good players at Perry and hopefully compete for another championship.”

Mann has high expectations for the upcoming season, and the new players have big shoes to fill.