Before the 2020 Class 3A state tournament, the Smoky Valley volleyball team last made state in 1986.
And while that team is legendary in its own way, the 2020 edition of the Lady Vikes will go down in history.
For the first time in program history, Smoky Valley advanced past pool play. The end result was a state runner-up performance at the Hutchinson Sports Arena as Sabetha claimed the title.
Smoky Valley started the day with a two-set loss to the eventual state champion Bluejays. Sabetha won the match 25-23, 25-16.
The Vikings would bounce back in a huge way, edging Goodland in three sets 25-21, 22-25, 25-20. Smoky Valley wrapped up pool action with a 25-20, 25-20 victory over West Franklin.
In the semis, Smoky Valley matched up with West Franklin, again. This time, West Franklin took the first set, 25-23. Smoky Valley fired back with a 25-23 set, closing out the match with a 25-21 set win in the finale.
Sabetha opened the title match with a 25-19 set victory. Smoky Valley didn’t quit, battling back to claim the second set 27-25. The Vikings fought hard to the very end, but eventually succumbed to Sabetha in a 25-23 third set defeat.
Despite the loss, Smoky Valley completed the best season in school history. The Vikings (34-4) set a school record for wins. What’s even more incredible – Smoky Valley was 1-35 three years ago.
*PHOTO FROM TAYLOR ELDRIDGE ON TWITTER*