State champs

by Mackenzie Moughon - Posted on Nov 22, 2011 - 05:58 PM

Photo: The Mathews High School varsity volleyball team displays its state championship trophy following Saturday’s win over Eastside. Team members are, front row from left, Kacie Austin, Teeny Robbins; middle row, Whitney Eriksen, Shelby Ware, Hailey Abernathy, Rachel Close, Anna Hudgins, Amanda Hudgins; back row, assistant coach Brooke Moughon, Maddie McCann, Amber Burruss, Jackie Stewart, Kai McCann, Mackenzie Moughon, Hannah Rowe, Laura Morris and head coach Pat Moughon.

The Mathews High School varsity volleyball team displays its state championship trophy following Saturday’s win over Eastside. Team members are, front row from left, Kacie Austin, Teeny Robbins; middle row, Whitney Eriksen, Shelby Ware, Hailey Abernathy, Rachel Close, Anna Hudgins, Amanda Hudgins; back row, assistant coach Brooke Moughon, Maddie McCann, Amber Burruss, Jackie Stewart, Kai McCann, Mackenzie Moughon, Hannah Rowe, Laura Morris and head coach Pat Moughon.

For years, Mathews has been knocking. This time around, they burst right through the front door.

The Mathews High School volleyball team capped a perfect 29-0 season last weekend by winning the Virginia High School League Group A, Division 2 state championship, defeating Eastside High School of Coeburn in Wise County, three sets to one on Saturday afternoon to take home the trophy.

"After coming so close last year, we talked a great deal about focusing on what we really wanted to accomplish," said MHS head coach Pat Moughon. "Everyone knew their role and therefore it was a true team effort. From regionals on through the state finals, each player stepped up her role that much more. When the going got tough, my girls got going!"

From the first day of practice on Aug. 1, the Lady Devils made it their goal to return to the Final Four at VCU’s Siegel Center. In 2009, the Devils made it to VCU, but lost in the semifinals. Last year, they returned again, this time making it all the way to the championship game, where they fell in a four-set match to Nelson County. Finally, in 2011, it was Mathews’s turn.