Pumas go to state tounament, bring home second place trophy

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The teams quest to repeat as state champions fell just short after falling to the Gators in five sets. The sand volleyball season came to an end at Casteel High School after the team fell to the Xavier Prep Gators in the state championship, 3-2

The sand volleyball season came to an end at Casteel High School after the team fell to the Xavier Prep Gators in the state championship, 3-2. “It is always disappointing to lose a state championship, especially when we were so close to winning it,” head coach Fred Mann said. “I am proud of the team for doing so well this season.”

The Pumas wrapped up the regular season with a record of 11-1 and entered the playoffs on a nine-game winning streak.

Perry opened the playoffs with two wins over Gilbert and Ironwood Ridge in four sets. The team then took on Corona del Sol and defeated the Aztecs to move on to the state championship.

The Pumas will lose contributing seniors Matea Suan and Erin Meyers. Suan will move to the next level and play division one volleyball at Missouri State University.

“We have some really good underclassmen on the beach team,” Mann said. Noelle Weintraub and Cannon Bongard will be the most critical of returning starters and will attempt to bring home the programs second state title.

The team still had a chance to bring home the banner during the doubles portion of the tournament. The Pumas had two pairs in the bracket to compete. Erin Meyers and Noelle Weintraub and the combination of Matea Suan and Cannon Bongard competed in the 32-player field.

During the pairs portion of the bracket, the pairing of Noelle Weintraub and Erin Meyers were able to advance to the second round of the tournament before being eliminated by a pairing from Val Vista rival Basha in the quarterfinals. The other pairing of Saun and Bongard was eliminated by a pair from Corona.

Suan was also a key contributor to the indoor team this fall. Suan, the senior captain, has accumulated 597 digs in 228 sets played throughout her three year varsity indoor career.

While it can be disappointing to lose a state championship game, the program is focused on moving forward. “(Despite losing the championship game) We should always have motivation to play well and compete.”

The attention of the program will pivot to the indoor season as the volleyball program will attempt to continue recent success as both indoor and outdoor have made an appearance in the final four in the last two years.

 

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