Avon High School was presented with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy during halftime of the boys’ basketball game Friday night. The award is part of the third annual MaxPreps Tour of Champions for Girls’ Volleyball presented by the Army National Guard and Avon is one of just ten schools being honored.
The Orioles finished ranked 19th in the country by MaxPreps, a California-based company that ranks more than 17,000 high school girls’ volleyball teams.
“MaxPreps is thrilled to work with the Army National Guard to honor America’s finest high school volleyball teams with the prestigious Army National Guard national ranking trophy,” said President and Founder, Andy Beal. “Coach McQueen and the Avon Lady Orioles have proven on the court that they are among the nation’s truly elite high school volleyball teams. We are thrilled to increase the number of teams honored this year and we salute the coach, the girls on the team and Avon High School for a job well done.”
Avon beat Carmel 3-2 (21-25, 25-20, 25-17, 21-25, 15-10) in the Indiana Class 4A state championship match to win its first-ever state title.
“Being honored by MaxPreps and the Army National Guard is a neat situation for the girls to get the credit they deserve,” Avon coach Scott McQueen said. “It gives the girls another opportunity to be recognized for how hard they worked.”
Avon used last year’s 39-1 season – their only loss came in the state championship game – as motivation for 2012. They lost seven seniors to graduation, but returned a good group of core players who set the tone in the off-season. The girls worked hard and it paid off when they came home with their first-ever state crown.
Sophomore Beth Prince led the Orioles all season. Prince had a team-leading and record-setting 505 kills on the year. She also set a five-game kills record in the championship with 24. Prince was named to the first team all-state for the second year in a row, was the Indy Star Player of the Year and a member of the Indy Star Super Team. Joining Prince on the Super Team was junior setter Rachel Griffin. Griffin led the team with 1,042 assists. Senior middle hitter Emily Graves, a four-year letter winner, had 65.5 blocks and was named to the Senior South all-star team. Rebekah Strange anchored the backcourt with 377 digs. She also had 68 aces, a team best.
Sergeant Justin Garrett of the Indiana Army National Guard presented coach McQueen and the Orioles with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy during halftime.
“For three years the Army National Guard has recognized nationally ranked volleyball teams with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy,” said LTC Christian J. Johnson of the Army National Guard. “We take great pride in doing so because it symbolizes the indomitable spirit common to high school athletes and the U.S. Soldier. It is our honor to share this symbol with the team, coaches, parents, and school. It is an award for the entire community and is much deserved.”