LINCOLN — There are still only two Class A volleyball programs that have finished a season undefeated.
Papillion-La Vista South’s pursuit of perfection was successfully completed Saturday night as the No. 1-ranked Titans swept No. 2 Millard West 25-15, 25-14, 25-14 for the school’s fifth state championship and second in the past three seasons.
The victory allowed the Titans to finish the season 40-0. The Wildcats, one of only four teams to win a set against Papio South during the regular season, finished 28-7.
This title marks the third time the Titans have finished a season undefeated. Papio South went 41-0 in 2010 and posted a 37-0 record in 2011.
The only other Class A school to complete an undefeated volleyball season was Omaha Marian in 1972, the first season of sanctioned volleyball in Nebraska. The Crusaders finished 19-0 and swept Beatrice in the state final.
Lauren Medeck joined Stella Adeyemi in double figures with 13 kills as the Titans hit .286 over the three sets. Ava LeGrand had two ace serves and 34 assists, while libero Harlei Cole finished with 17 digs.
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Millard West hit .000 — 22 kills and 22 errors — and didn’t have any aces. Alanna Bankston finished with eight kills, and Sadie Millard had six.
Papio South set an early tone by leading 5-0 in the first set, with two of those points coming from Shealie Wiebers. Millard West got within two points three times — the latest at 8-6 — before the Titans went on an 8-3 run.
A pair of Wildcat errors; a kill by Adeyemi, who led all players with 15 kills; and a block by Emma O’Neill put Papio South up 16-9 before Millard West coach Joe Wessel called a timeout.
That pause helped the Wildcats settle down and score the next five points to get within 16-14. Papio South coach Katie Tarman called a timeout to get the Titans refocused.
Whatever she said worked, as the Titans finished on a 9-1 run to win the opening set.
The second set unfolded in a similar manner. A pair of ace serves by LeGrand gave Papio South a 3-0 lead that eventually grew to 8-3 before Millard West got within one point four times as the teams traded kills, long serves and unforced errors.
With the score 11-10, Papio South scored three straight with kills by Makenzie Dyrstad and Adeyemi and another Millard West error. The closest the Wildcats got after that was three points, as Papio South again went on a late set run to close out the victory.
This time it was a 9-1 run for the Titans after the Wildcats had clawed their way back to 16-13. Three kills by Medeck, two by O’Neill, two unforced errors by Millard West and an ace serve by Cole to end the set gave Papio South a 25-14 victory.
Millard West took its only two leads early in the third set at 2-1 and 3-2.
The Wildcats were within 19-13, but Papio South finished the match with a 6-1 run as kills by Medeck and O’Neill were the final two points that secured the Titans the first undefeated Class A season in 10 years.
Millard West (28-7); 15; 14; 14
Papillion-La Vista South (40-0); 25; 25; 25
MW (kills-aces-blocks): Sadie Millard 6-0-0, Maddie MacTaggart 4-0-1, Kylah Brewer 1-0-2, Lauren Jones 3-0-2, Skylar Walters 0-0-2, Alanna Bankston 8-0-3. Totals 22-0-10.
PLVS: Morgan Bode 5-0-3, Harlei Cole 0-1-0, Stella Adeyemi 15-0-1, Emma O'Neill 6-1-7, Ava LeGrand 3-2-1, Lauren Medeck 13-0-4, Shealie Wiebers 2-0-3. Totals 44-4-19.
Set assists: MW 21 (Walters 18, Ella Hazen 2, Millard 1). PLVS 39 (LeGrand 34, Cole 3, O'Neill 1, Medeck 1).