MUNCIE — For Avon’s six seniors, Saturday night’s volleyball state championship victory over Carmel was the culmination of years of hard work.
Logan Beeson, Lindsay Thompson, Rebekah Strange, Shelby Connors, Rachel Griffin and Emma Carmichael all have played integral parts in Avon’s recent success, that now includes back-to-back state titles.
“The expectations that we were going to be in the finals the last three years definitely does not portray how difficult the path has been,” Avon coach Scott McQueen said. “The kids in the finals this year battled the entire match, and I thought it was a great snapshot of how hard they have had to battle the last three years as well.
“As talented as the group is, the effort and hard work is what propelled this group to new heights. They learned from the groups ahead of them and hopefully will have taught to the groups behind them.”
The seniors have also been a part of heartbreak.
As freshmen, they watched as Avon lost to eventual state runner-up Muncie Central in the first round of semi-state. As sophomores, they were on the wrong end of a state finals matchup, losing the title to Penn.
But Avon was building toward its ultimate goal, using the lessons of years and players past to make the climb to the state’s proverbial pinnacle.
“It’s an interesting class that didn’t come into the program with the notoriety of some others, but their success level has been overwhelming,” McQueen said. “(They) continued building on the foundation that was built by earlier classes. Their work ethic and desire really showed through all four years in their determination to get where they wanted to be.
“It’s amazing to see the kids succeed, but it’s not surprising knowing their effort.”