St. James wins thriller over Aquinas for repeat 5A title

SALINA, Kan. - Just like in 2017, it came down to St. James Academy and St. Thomas Aquinas to decide the 5A state volleyball title. But unlike last year, the Thunder had their hands full with the Saints. Yet they prevailed again.

After the first set went an extra point before St. James took it 26-24, Aquinas battled to win the second set and even the match with a 25-20 win.

Then came the third set, and what a set it was. But it took a comeback from the 8 seed Thunder to get us there. Aquinas came out of the gate on fire, giving themselves a 14-7 lead forcing a Thunder timeout. Out of the break, St. James took 9 out of 11 points to tie the set up at 16 apiece.

From there, it was back and forth, and it just kept going. Tied at 25, 27, 30, 32, before St. James finally took back to back points and came away with a thrilling 34-32 third set win to win back to back state titles, and their fourth crown since 2013.

In the third place match, Lansing, who nearly defeated the Thunder in the semifinal round, knocked out Bishop Carroll in straight sets, 25-22, 25-21.