MUNCIE — Barr-Reeve volleyball means so much to so many people in Montgomery, but none more than Amber DeCoursey. After 14 years leading one of the elite volleyball programs in Southwestern Indiana, DeCoursey and her team have reached the top of the mountain.
The Vikings (38-2) defeated Lafayette Central Catholic (28-11) 3-1 to win the school’s first Class A state championship Saturday afternoon at Worthen Arena at Ball State University. Barr-Reeve senior Jenna Knepp was the recipient of the Mental Attitude Award, which is given to the top senior player.
DeCoursey was a standout basketball and volleyball player at Barr-Reeve in the mid 1990s, before taking over the leadership of the volleyball program. In 14 season, the Vikings were the state runner-up in 1998, 2001 and 2008. This time it was different.
“This is just amazing,” DeCoursey said. “For these girls and this community for what this community has been through the past couple of months is just amazing.”
Brandon Wagler, who was the 2012 Barr-Reeve valedictorian was killed in an automobile accident Oct. 29 driving his younger brother to church. The tragedy rallied the community and the volleyball team wore green bows in their hair to pay homage to the Wagler family and Brandon’s younger sister, Megan, who plays on the junior varsity.
The first set was neck and neck for the until a Barr-Reeve timeout midway through the set. Central Catholic led 13-12 when DeCoursey took her first timeout. Out of the timeout, the Vikings seemed more focused and determined. The Vikings took a 16-15 lead, before the Knights tied it at 16, but Barr-Reeve would answer with four straight points to take a 20-16 lead. Central Catholic cut the lead to three momentarily, but Barr-Reeve steamrolled the final five points to take the set 25-17.
“I just think the emotions were getting a hold of the girls,” DeCoursey said. “We got this lead and the girls forgot we had to play to 25. A team like LCC, you can’t give them two or three at a time, because those points are just going to chip away. We held our composure and stayed at it.”