Abrupt Ending: After promising start, top-ranked PHS comes up short in 6A title game


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The tension was boiling and the student section was excited with intense school spirit for the much anticipated volleyball state championships against Basha High School. There was so much anxiety but also excitement in hopes for a great game and a win.

“We felt like we had a game plan and we had a shot,” assistant coach Brian Wagner said.

Perry dominated the first two sets, but the game took a turning point when Basha won the third, fourth, and eventually the fifth set. Despite the Pumas being far ahead in the first half, Basha caught fire again leading them to victory.

The girls were feeling confident going into the championship, although they knew it was going to be a tough game.

“There were a lot of nerves but there was also a lot of faith,” senior Jillian Hatch said.

When the game ended, there were lots of tears, disappointment, and realization that they were so close to winning it this year, but the girls knew that they had really accomplished a lot this year and had a great season. Going to state was a great accomplishment, and it was a bittersweet moment for the team.

“Overall, not what we wanted, but I’m proud of us,” Hatch said. The coaches were also very pleased with the girls and the progress they have made in the past few months. Defeating team after team, and overcoming many difficult obstacles, including going after state.

“So proud of the season we had obviously not the outcome we wanted, but to be there with a team as good as Basha makes me proud,” Wagner said.

“We are building something special, it took a while to get here and we’ll keep working,” Wagner continued. As senior volleyball players, the loss was especially hard on Tatum Stall, Jillian Hatch, Sydney Badhorn, Sydney Sands, and Sian Richardson who have put in so much effort into their volleyball career and team and have also left an impact on the school.

Regardless, the experience of playing for the volleyball team is one that they “wouldn’t trade for the world.”

However, there is still much sadness and regret for the Pumas.

“Give it everything you’ve got because one day it will be your last game and so you might as well fight for it now,” said Hatch.

The Pumas have some unfinished business to pick back up on next year, but they had one amazing season and they are continuing to move forward with hope.

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