Photos by Kyle Quick
Bismarck, Mo. – Wednesday New Haven’s season came to an end after falling short to undefeated Valle Catholic (31-0) in the Class 1 District 5 Championship Match. (Game summary below.)
We sat down with Volleyball Coach Jaime Hoener and talked about her team and their overall season. During our conversation Hoener couldn’t have praised her team enough saying, “They are just great overall people”
After New Haven’s loss to Valle Catholic Hoener told her team, “There’s been years when going into practice was a struggle to get teams to go after it and work hard. It was never a struggle this year. I can’t say enough about their willingness to do things and make the sacrifice to be better players.”
Hoener would have kids come in and tell her, “Thanks for coaching me today. You don’t get kids like that very often or ask, “Coach you need anything, uniforms hung up or anything else down. And that’s more important to me than if their the best athletes we’ve ever had.”
Hoener said, “ Effort was never an issue both in practice and in games. They were an easy group of girls to coach and again just great people.”
New Haven knew coming into the District Championship match they would have to play nearly a perfect game. Valle Catholic (31-0) was not a tall team by any means but they were quick and had major hops.
Coach Hoener said, “Valle was the better team on that [Wednesday] particular night. Their defense took the air out of us. Our hitters were hitting the ball well, trying different shots but they always seemed to get a hand on it.”
Despite losing the first set, 25-18, New Haven came out firing in the second set giving Valle a run for their money. Down 21-16 New Haven found their grove, scoring five unanswered points. Like every sport Volleyball is a game of inches.
“A Couple times the ball fell their way and not ours. Some of our line shots were only out by a few inches. That’s just the game of inches. One little snap of the wrist one way or the other and it could’ve been a different story,” said Hoener.
In Saturday’s Class 1 Sectionals Winona (28-7-1) sent shock waves across the state by upsetting Valle Catholic in two sets, handing Valle their only loss of the year. Winona went on to defeat Sacred Heart, advancing to the final four. Bernie, Osceola, and Santa Fe will join Winona in the Class 1 Final Four next weekend.
New Haven ended their season 20 – 11 and 4-3 in the conference. The Shamrocks will graduate four seniors, Taylor Goad, Rachel Horstmann, Megan Bauer, and Kelsey Peacut.
On the season Peacut and Bauer led the team in aces and points served. Peacut had 58 aces and 193 points while Bauer served 33 aces and 165 points.
Kayla Meyer (171) and Bauer (297) were New Haven’s leading setters in assists. However, Meyer only played in 53 games while Bauer played in 74.
Sophomore Taylor Covington finished with the second most kills, 161, and Peacut led the team with 164 kills.
Overall New Haven was a young team this year with several good players from this year’s JV team who won the conference for the second straight year.