NEWARK, Ohio- 21 times. That’s the number of times the Newark Catholic volleyball program has made the state final four.
“We have eight volleyball state championships so this would be number nine,” said Newark Catholic volleyball coach, Caileigh Hughes.
This weekend, the Green Wave will be looking to capture another state title. On Saturday, at Vandalia-Butler High School, Newark Catholic takes on New Breman in the state semifinals with the winner advancing to the state championship match on Sunday.
The last time the Green Wave won the state title was in 2004, a team that Hughes got to travel with to the start tournament.
So now, this 2020 group is ready to hang its own banner.
“Oh my gosh we are so excited. We are so ready we know we’re gonna do good,” senior setter, Nikki Langenbrunner said. “We’re going to come out strong. We’ve been practicing all week and we’re going to be really loud and its gonna be intimating.”
Senior outside hitter Brynn Peddicord said, “The other day the under-classman looked at us and said the seniors won’t let us lose and that’s so true. They know we have the confidence to win and that we believe in them and if we believe in them then we can do anything.”
In just her second season as Newark Catholic’s coach, Hughes has guided the Green Wave to a second straight appearance in the final four. Last season Newark Catholic lost in the state semifinals in four sets to Fort Loramie, which has motivated this team through the entire 2020 season.
“Our saying is unfinished business,” Hughes said. “Now they’re hungry because they wanted to finish that. They’ve been there, they know what it feels like but they want to follow through.”
Langenbrunner said, “We have this mentality that we’re not going to give up on each other. The underclassmen have the same mentality for us too, they want us to leave with a state title.”
For this team with seven seniors, winning a state title would mean the world to them.
“I literally got the chills when you said that,” Peddicord said. “Because it would mean the world to me and all the seniors if we won the state title and left our mark here on the school and on the volleyball program.”