Statesmen Off To Winning Start On The Road To State

April 13, 2012
The Webster Groves High School boys volleyball players have let the world know what they hope transpires this season: Win the Class 3 2012 state title.

The Statesmen lost in the 2011 state semifinals to eventual state champion Vianney High School in three games.

"We're being bold in saying that," said Webster Volleyball Coach Helen Buckley. "They have put it out there. They not only want to try to get to state but they want to win state.

"They'll try and live up to that this season," she said. "Why not? We're playing very well. We just have to play one match at a time."

Already, Webster Groves is off to an 11-0 start, which includes winning the Vianney Tournament for the first time on March 31. The Statesmen had to win five matches in the process, including victories over Vianney in the finals, as well as defeating Bishop DuBourg in the semifinals and state runner-up Kirkwood in pool play. So far, they have only lost three of 27 games this season.

"Winning the tournament was very satisfying," Buckley said. "To beat Vianney was very satisfying."

Webster Groves, which had to replace star outside hitter Stanley Hinkle, a freshman volleyball player at the University of Hawaii, had enough parts back to be a factor once more. Leading the way is Ryan Mahl, a senior rangy 6-foot-4 outside captain hitter, who will take his talents to NAIA power St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.

Senior Alex Kutz, who was Libero last season, is Webster's other outside hitter this year. Senior captain John Richards is a go-to setter. The right side hitter is senior Joe Sorensen. The middle backers are sophomores Matt Sorensen, Joe's younger brother, and Spencer Lanig. Sophomore Ecel Galdo is the Libero.

"We play like a team real well," Buckley said. "Our offense is a little more balanced this season. Our passing game is pretty good. We're playing good fundamental defense. We're just playing real well."

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