PrepVolleyball.com honors Jaguars after 40-1 season
After a dominating 40-1 season that ended with a state championship last month, the Mercy Academy volleyball team has been named national champion by PrepVolleyball.com.
PrepVolleyball.com publisher John Tawa released his final rankings Thursday night and wrote:
“Mercy Academy will reign as PrepVolleyball.com’s 2014 National Champions because no other team nationally has a resume to match the Jaguars. The Kentucky single-class champions won every tournament they played in this season, defeated seven teams that won state titles either in 2013, 2014 or both, went 6-0 against teams in the top 25 and 11-1 versus teams in the top 40.”
Mercy won regular-season crowns in the Louisville Invitational Volleyball Tournament, the Berkeley Premier Tournament in Tampa, Fla., and the Brebeuf Jesuit Tournament in Indianapolis.
After suffering their only loss of the season in the regular-season finale – a five-set defeat to Sacred Heart – the Jaguars rolled to nine straight victories in the postseason. They beat Notre Dame 23-25, 25-20, 24-26, 25-19, 15-8 in the State Tournament final on Nov. 9 at Valley.
Mercy coach Todd Garvey said he set a goal of winning a national title after the Jaguars finished as runners-up in 2008.
“I couldn’t be any more proud of our team and all the hard work they put into this season,” he said. “To be No. 1 in the state is pretty special, but being named as national champions is almost surreal. … It’s good to see the girls get rewarded for such a great season.”
Senior Merideth Jewell, who has signed with Morehead State, was named Kentucky’s Miss Volleyball and the Gatorade Kentucky Player of the Year.
Jewell joined fellow seniors Lexie Hamrick (North Carolina signee) and Devon Rachel (College of Charleston signee) on the Kentucky Volleyball Coaches Association’s All-State first team. Senior Nikki Koval (South Florida signee) was a second-team pick, and junior Morgan Elmore (Lipscomb commit) was an honorable-mention selection.
Mercy was one of four teams from Kentucky to finish in the national top 50, joining No. 12 Notre Dame, No. 26 Sacred Heart and No. 27 Assumption.