JONESBORO — The St. Joseph volleyball team suffered its lone defeat of the season Saturday. Unfortunately for the Lady Bulldogs, that loss came in the Class 3A state championship.
St. Joseph, which won all of its 23 previous matches, fell to Mansfield 17-25, 11-25, 25-21, 21-25 at Arkansas State University’s Convocation Center. Saturday’s contest marked the first time the Lady Bulldogs had reached the state finals, and no doubt gave them a new experience.
"Mansfield is a great team with big hitters," St. Joseph coach Luke Davis said. "We didn’t show up the first two games. I think we were a little nervous and awestruck with the atmosphere."
The Lady Bulldogs regained their composure in the third game. However, Mansifield quickly seized back momentum in the fourth game to put the match away.
"We did a great job of battling back and winning the third game and battling in the fourth," Davis said. "The girls showed a lot of heart."
The match was the final for two Lady Bulldogs.
"I’m going to miss my seniors Katie Reinhard and Veronica Bausom," Davis said.
Amy Schichtl continued her strong season, leading St. Joseph with 20 kills. Courtney Briggler and Bausom had five each. Jessica Justice finished with 31 assists, while Jordan Justice had 19 digs.
Briggler, Bausom and Katie Halter were named to the all-state tournament team, ending what had been a strong run for the Lady Bulldogs.
"It’s been a great year," Davis said.