YORKTOWN, IND - Yorktown volleyball has had some success in the last few seasons. In 2022, the Tigers won their ninth straight Delaware County Championship and was runner-up at the state finals.
Coming into this season, Yorktown fans might have wondered if the green and white could follow up their 34-3 record and make another run in the tournament.
News flash. The 2023 Tigers are on track to do that.
“I think every year we're just trying to reset and do our best and work as hard as we can,” Tigers’ head coach Stephanie Bloom said. “Sometimes winning can be taken for granted, so [we] constantly remind ourselves that winning is hard.”
While Bloom has tried to keep the Tigers modest, their record speaks for themselves. Achievements like capturing their tenth straight Delaware County Championship and finishing in first place of the Hoosier Heritage Conference with an undefeated conference record has highlighted the journey.
After defeating Burris (24-4) 3-0 on Saturday morning, Yorktown finished the regular season 23-5.
In the match, junior Charlotte Vinson led the team with 22 kills. Vinson has been one of the Tigers’ biggest weapons. She ended the regular season averaging 6.7 kills per set and has 641 total kills. Even with her success, she thinks it's been a team effort.
“The players have stepped into the roles seniors left last year,” she said. “I think that's a really good thing.”
While there have been multiple players who have stepped up and filled important roles, the match against Burris saw someone else rise to the occasion. Junior Ari Wright finished the win with eleven kills.
“[Going from] junior varsity to varsity is a different mindset,” Wight said. “So I just had to change my mindset and believe in the team.”
While the Tigers took care of business against the Owls, it wasn’t always a smooth ride. The first two sets (25-13, 25-16) were all Yorktown. But the third set would see both competitors battle to the last point.
When the third set was tied at 20-20, Bloom called a timeout. This is where something changed.
“[Bloom] kind of reminded us that [the Owls] are not going to die down,” Vinson said. “We have to stay current. I think we all really left that timeout thinking to ourselves that we have to keep playing.”
After the timeout, the Tigers went on to win the final set 25-20. The fight by the Owls was something that Bloom thinks will help the Tigers as they enter sectionals.
“It’s good for your kids to know who they are when their backs are pushed up against the wall,” she said. “...This is what we've been talking about all year. We can't just show up and we gotta dig in and we have to be sharp and we have to be focused and play to win.”
The win also means something much greater to the seniors who have taken part in the program. It’s their last win in the Yorktown gymnasium.
“It's been amazing,” senior Jayde Garett said. “It's just been a good ride and I wouldn't want to be with any other program.”
The work that the seniors have put in has not gone unnoticed.
“They are the ones that make us stay together,” Wright said. “I just feel like they're the main ones who set the higher standard.”
The Tigers will face Pendleton Heights in the first round of sectionals on Thursday, Oct. 12. The match is set to start at 6 p.m.
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