One point. That’s how close the Barr-Reeve Vikings were to advancing to the Class A state championship in 2010.
The Vikings lost the first two sets in that year’s semistate championship match to their 2013 opponent — Indianapolis Lutheran. Barr-Reeve roared back by winning the next two sets and were a single point away from a trip to Muncie for the state championship before falling 16-14 in the fifth set. That heartbreaking loss has burned a fire inside the Viking program ever since.
All four Barr-Reeve seniors on this year’s team were freshmen on the 2010 team — Jenna Knepp and Hania Sisco were starters — Tracy Graber and Allison Hoover were rotation players. To be so close and not achieve their goal has eaten at that senior class since that match at North Daviess. Lutheran would go to Muncie and fall to Lafayette Central Catholic, Barr-Reeve’s opponent on Saturday morning.
Even three years later, the loss still stings.
“It’s been in the back of our heads this whole time,” Knepp said. “We were one point away — one pass away, one set away, one hit away and we didn’t make it. We definitely have some revenge to get.”
A key to the success Barr-Reeve has enjoyed this season is how in-sync the players are with each other on the court. The chemistry that began building long before any of the girls ever played a varsity match is evident to anyone who has watched the Vikings this season and during the state tournament. Knepp said that is a aspect of the team that has taken a long time to build.
“It makes the team,” Knepp said. “If we can all connect, it makes everything go better. It makes everything a lot more fun too.”
Barr-Reeve coach Amber DeCoursey has seen all four seniors grow from 14-year-old freshman to 18-year-old young women on and off the court. She said coaching all four has been a joy to experience as their coach. Each girl fits into a role that their skills lend to help the team be as successful as it can be.