SPRINGFIELD—Independence’s inaugural season of boys’ volleyball ended with a 3-0 loss to Columbus St. Francis DeSales in a Division II state semifinal at Wittenberg University on Saturday.
The Blue Devils, who closed out the campaign with an 11-5 record, dropped their Final Four match to the Stallions, 25-17, 25-14, 25-6.
“I didn’t expect to be here,” said Independence coach Lexi Prokopius. “The fact they came from not really knowing volleyball at all to being at states is just crazy. I’ve had so many people come up to me saying, ‘This is a first-year program? That’s crazy.’ I’m excited for them and we’ll celebrate this as a team.”
Landen Jatsek led the Blue Devils with seven kills and Joey Spacagna added two. Cubby Tripodi posted a team-high nine assists, and Sonny Sears led the Blue Devils with seven digs. Tripodi and Wyatt Snyder each contributed with six digs.
Next season, the Blue Devils return nearly their entire roster.
Prokopius is confident the state experience has inspired her players—and future Blue Devils—to work even harder in the future.
“I think it’ll just make them want to play harder and play more and get more used to volleyball,” she said. “Honestly, they were all like, ‘Oh my gosh, like this is awesome.’ They were all very excited and I think seeing it and seeing more experienced players is what they needed.”