Class 5A State Recap: Seaman Believes and Conquers
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The experts (me being the expert) banked on a few things. One of those things was Seaman advancing to the final four. One of those things was also St. James advancing to the final four. And the final was one…
The experts (me being the expert) banked on a few things. One of those things was Seaman advancing to the final four. One of those things was also St. James advancing to the final four. And the final was one of the schools with a, “St.” in their name winning the state title. The only of those things that happened was Topeka Seaman not only making it to the final four but walking away with the 2023 state title.
I highlighted in my preview, I really liked the competition Seaman faced this year. They were truly battle-tested, which gave them the leg up in my opinion as the second team to advance from pool play. Well, they ended up being the first team to advance after honestly running through pool play with little difficulty. I thought top seed Andover Central would also advance but after a second match lost to Spring Hill and then Spring Hill beating Andover, this left them on the outside looking in, while Spring Hill would move on to the semifinal.
Seaman 3-0, Spring Hill 2-1, Andover Central 1-2, Andover 0-3
The second pool also didn’t go as expected in my eyes. St. Thomas Aquinas advanced but it would be St. James, who we thought had a shot to win it all lost two matches in pool play and cut their tournament stay short. Maize South would win two matches to be the second team to advance out of pool play to Saturday’s semifinal match.
Aquinas 3-0, Maize South 2-1, St. James 1-2, Lansing 0-3
The Vikings would keep the momentum going from day 1 by racing out to a first-set 25-17 win over Maize South. They would keep their opponents at a good distance in the second set to win 25-21. The Topeka defense was key holding an explosive South offense to 19 kills in the match andand being held to a combined six. , , and were big at the net making it tough for the opposing offense to find the floor.
In the second semifinal, The Saints ran away with the match behind 11 kills from. Spring Hill totaled 12 points in each set. The Aquinas defense held their opponent to a .036 hitting percentage in the match while totaling 12 blocks in the contest.
On paper, Aquinas would be the pick for this match but Seaman believed in their play and took down the defending state champs in straight sets. The Vikings were able to get leads late in both sets and finishing them keeping the team from Overland Park at bay. The state champs placed three players on the all-tournament team with the aforementioned Gormley, Mills, and McGivern. The Saints placed three also with, Grimes, and .
Other members of the all-tournament team:; Andover Central, ; Spring Hill, ; St. James, ; Maize South, ; Spring Hill, ; Maize South