Westminster Christian Academy ready for Class 3 Final Four volleyball tourney
By: Warren Mayes
The Westminster Christian Academy Wildcats are in Class 3 state tournament for the first time since 2007.
That year was the only other trip by the Wildcats to the Final Four. It turned out pretty well, too, as Westminster finished second.
Now, Westminster (26-6) is back. The Wildcats will be in action this weekend at the Show-Me Center on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University.
Coach Heather Kea, who began coaching the Wildcats in 2007, is proud of her girls for what they have accomplished this season.
“It is great to extend the season having six seniors,” Kea said. “The season has been long at times and very intense. The girls did a great job of playing hard despite what competition we may face.
“Our schedule fluctuates at times and we played pretty consistent through the whole season. ”
They will need to be consistent when the Final Four begins Friday. Westminster opens pool play at 3 p.m. when the Wildcats take on Perryville (33-5-1). Then, Westminster must face Pleasant Hill (33-1-2) and St. Pius X of Kansas City (25-6-3).
After the pool play matches, the two teams with the best records will advance to Saturday’s title match at 6 p.m. The third-place match is at noon Saturday.
To get this far, the Wildcats had to get past defending state champion Villa Duchesne. Westminster defeated Villa 15-25, 25-17, 25-22 to win the district championship.
Winning district titles is nothing new for Westminster.
“We have won districts several years,” Kea said. “Even when I was at Westminster we won districts four years in a row, but Westminster has always had a difficult sectional. I have been coach since 2007 and we have won districts four times and lost twice.”
Getting by Villa Duschesne was big but Kea noted this was not the team that won state last year.
“Of course, the girls felt great about beating Villa,” Kea said. “State champs or not, there has always been a huge rivalry there. Villa has a young squad and graduated some strong seniors so the team is definitely different.”
After beating Duschesne 28-26, 25-17 in the sectional round, Westminster defeated Borgia 25-24, 25-20 in the quarterfinals to move on to state.