Last fall was the first time in 16 seasons the Bishop Verot girls volleyball team failed to win a district championship.
In some ways, it served as a reminder that historical precedence wouldn’t always guarantee future success.
So on Thursday the Vikings earned their keep again in Nevins Gymnasium, beating LaBelle in three straight sets (25-8, 25-11, 25-8) to win the District 4A-10 title for the 17th time in the last 18 seasons.
“It was a heartbreak not seeing a plaque up there this year that says volleyball,” Vikings junior outside hitter Mindie Mabry said.
“It shows how far we’ve come,” sophomore libero Alyssa Collins added.
So Bishop Verot moves on to Region 4A-3 play next Wednesday against District 4A-9 runner-up Cardinal Mooney, which was swept by Berkeley Prep.
With the win, the Vikings improved to 23-2. They never lost in district play this season.
“This was the first step,” Verot head coach Jeremy Ridgeo said. “We’ll see what they’re capable of.”
The failure of a season ago was nowhere to be found Thursday night. Really, at no point did LaBelle even challenge.
Mabry finished with 11 kills and three blocks, while junior setter Teya Leonard set up teammates en route to 13 assists.
“Bishop Verot played very well,” said LaBelle head coach Lori Perkins, whose team dropped to 11-16 with the loss. “Their serving was in, their hitting was in. Anything we hit they dug. “
Verot sped off to a 5-0 start in the first game, taking a 13-2 lead midway through the set before finishing off with solid play late.
“We went on big runs,” Ridgeo said. “We stayed in system a lot. They were out of system a lot in serve-receive.”
The second and third games were polished. The entire game took less than an hour to complete.
“We stayed disciplined and we didn’t give up easy points,” Ridgeo said.