The Roncalli boys volleyball team won its second consecutive state championship and third overall (2018, 2022, 2023) on Saturday, May 27 at Jefferson High School in Lafayette, Ind.
Winning the title required winning two matches on the same day. Their march to the championship started by playing Southside rival Perry Meridian for a third time this season. A tough set-in game one ended in a 26-24 Royals victory. From there Roncalli dominated the Falcons winning game two (25-16) and the decisive game three (25-14). After the match, first-year head coach Nick Jennings remarked, “Perry Meridian played the best they could and really pushed us in the first. Once we pulled it out, though, we took them out of their game.”
The second match would pit the Royals against nemesis Fishers, whom they had lost to earlier in the season. This time around, Roncalli would rebound from a loss in game one (25-22) and dominate games two (25-16) and three (25-18). Game four would see the Tigers rebound and present a major challenge, but the Royals walked away with a 26-24 win and back-to-back state titles. In the championship match, Alex Barkley dominated the net with 21 kills, Andrew Mayer added 15 kills and 16 digs, Andrew Dial logged 29 assists and Matthew Dial had 19 assists. The Royals were also well represented on the All-tournament team – seniors Alex Barkley, Jacob Irmer and Andrew Mayer were honored. Mayer was named the tournament MVP.
Jennings summed things up by saying, “This season was very special for the Royals. This team was determined to defend their state title. After dropping the first set in the finals, the seniors told the team this was not going to be the end result. They came to work and knew no one could stop them from accomplishing their goal. Through great leadership from the seniors, we were an unstoppable force.”
In celebrating the victory, Roncalli Athletic Director David Lauck said, “Congrats to Coach Jennings for leading the boys volleyball team to another state title. They peaked in the championship game, which was great to see!”