After two years of heartbreak, Archbishop Hannan has finally taken its place atop Division IV.
The top-ranked Hawks easily defeated No. 3 University High in three games Saturday afternoon 25-10, 25-9 and 25-13 to capture the school’s first volleyball state championship.
“This is what we have been working on for so long with these girls,” Hannan coach Rebekka Bonnaffee said. “They really showed up today. They were awesome. We played very relaxe, but still came out and dominated. Everything I asked them to do they did, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Allee Morris led the Hawks (40-6) with 18 kills and seven blocks. Mikayla Boyer added 14 kills and Grace Lagalante had a game-high 35 assists.
The Hawks dominated broke out to a 13-5 advantage in the first game. None of the games throughout the match were ever in question as Hannan built multiple double-digit leads throughout the match on its way to the crown.
“We kept our energy from start to finish by hyping each other up,” senior Casey Aucoin said. “We were just going to keep building and building, no letdown.
“Every 7 a.m. workout and rushing to get there, for me and the rest of these seniors, it was all worth it now. I couldn’t be prouder of all my teammates.”
The title for Hannan comes after heartbreaking losses to Pope John Paul II the past two seasons. Hannan lost the 2016 title game to the Jaguars and then was defeated last season in the state semifinals.
“All the hard work and everything we have been through, it’s all worth it now,” Bonnaffee said.
Named Most Outstanding Player of the match, Morris, who is headed to LSU on a volleyball scholarship, said the Hawks knew they had to jump out to a quick start.
“Many on this team, in particular our seniors have waited four years to get to this point,” Morris said. “That heartache of the last two seasons just made our drive to win this season just so much stronger. I wouldn’t want to win this title with anyone else.”
Also wrapping up her career, Boyer, who is headed to Spring Hill College on a volleyball scholarship, said she couldn’t imagine a better way of ending her prep career.
“Everything fell into place perfectly this year,” Boyer said. “We worked so hard the last several years and we knew nothing was going to get in our way of our ultimate end goal.
“It still hasn’t hit me yet that we won, that’s why I’m not crying. Whenever it hits me I guess that we don’t have a match anymore, that’s when I will be in tears.”
The quarterback of the Hannan offense, Lagalante echoed her teammates’ sentiments.
“I can’t even describe the feeling (of winning a state championship),” she said. “I now know what coach Bonnaffee was talking about when she said she wanted us to experience what winning a state championship.”