HARRISON — The St. Joseph volleyball team’s magical season isn’t quite over.
The Lady Bulldogs have won all 23 of their matches, and the 24th would be the best in the program’s history — a Class 3A state championship.
St. Joseph swept defending champion Lavaca 25-11, 25-19, 25-21 Thursday at the Harrison Youth Center to reach the finals of the Class 3A state tournament, which will be held at Arkansas State University at 3 p.m. Saturday. The match will mark the Lady Bulldogs’ first apperance in the state finals.
"Everybody showed up today (Thursday)," St. Joseph coach Luke Davis said. "I can’t say enough about how well we played together."
The Lady Bulldogs were perfect on serving. Amy Schichtl led St. Joseph with 15 kills, and Courtney Briggler had seven. Jessica Justice had 26 assists and seven aces. Jordan Justice had 14 digs, while Katie Reinhard finished with three blocks.
"This is big for our program," Davis said. "I’m really proud of the girls. We definitely have a big chore ahead of us."
St. Joseph reached the finals after rallying from down two games to defeat Harrisburg in the quarterfinal round. The Lady Bulldogs rebounded to take a 23-25, 23-25, 25-10, 25-18, 16-14 victory.
"I can’t say how proud I am of the girls," Davis said. "We let the first two games slip away, and they did not give up. Seniors Veronica (Bausom) and Katie (Reinhard) really stepped up and would not let them lose. We showed a lot of heart."
Schichtl led the way with 15 kills, while Briggler added eight along with three blocks. Jordan Justice had 22 digs and four aces. Bausom added 19 digs and three aces. Jessica Justice chipped in 30 assists, and Reinhard had two blocks.
St. Joseph opened state tournament play with a 25-17, 25-18, 25-19 victory over Alpena.
Schichtl and Briggler had eight kills each in that match. Jessica Justice had 21 assists, while Jordan Justice had 14 digs and six aces. Tori Carter finished with three aces, and Bausom had 12 digs.