CEDAR RAPIDS — It’s been said “history never repeats itself.” The Xavier volleyball team proved just that.
After losing in the semifinals at the state tournament the past two years, the Saints had extra motivation to advance to the championship last week.
“Right after we lost last year we knew we wanted more,” senior Keera Ball said. “We all worked so hard in the offseason and during the summer to get past the semis. We talked about it every day in the practice gym.”
The Saints defeated Pella in the quarterfinals and Dallas Center-Grimes in the semifinals, earning a spot in the championship game for the first time in school history.
“Making it to the championship game and breaking another school record was an amazing feeling,” senior Emily Jasper said. “It was my favorite memory from the season, and it is something I will never forget.”
The Saints fell short to Dubuque Wahlert in four sets in the championship game on Friday at the U.S. Cellular Center. The Golden Eagles claimed their 20th state championship, their third in a row.
“Dubuque Wahlert is the most decorated team in state volleyball history,” Xavier Coach Austin Filer said. “Our players conducted themselves with class and dignity, despite falling short of our goal.”
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
Not only did the Saints break school history as a team, sophomore Jazmine Yamilkoski broke it individually. Yamilkoski collected 1,005 assists this season to become Xavier’s single-season record-holder.
“It feels good to break the record, but I know I had some really good hitters and passers to help me,” Yamilkoski said. “I could not have done this without them.”
The records are not what the seniors will miss most. It’s the memories they made with their teammates.
“I am going to miss traveling around with all of my friends,” senior Olivia Richards said. “I will also miss all of the inside jokes we made on the court, and the laughs we shared off the court.”
Filer said this group of seniors gave everything they had to this program, and took Xavier to places it had never been before.
“I wish I had more time with them,” he said. “I wish we could start this journey over again.
“It was my privilege to be their coach.”