Wilson provided the Pioneers a jolt of energy when they needed it. For instance, Wilson sat down for a breather in the late stages of the third set. The Warriors (30-10) took advantage of Wilson’s absence with a 7-2 run that trimmed a 19-12 deficit down to 21-19.
But once Purichia put Wilson back into the match at 22-19, the Pioneers’ intensity picked up again and sealed the victory as they scored three of the match’s final four points.
“We wanted it so bad — we weren’t losing,” Wilson said. “I told Coach in the locker room we weren’t losing the game and I meant it. I was giving her everything in my power to not lose the game and we did it.
It’s a team sport and we all played good and we played together.” Purichia said following last year’s state championship loss, she noticed the determined look on Wilson’s face and knew a state title was very important to her standout middle hitter.
“The vision that I had not been able to get out of my mind since we left this gym last year was Taylor’s face. I don’t know if I have ever met a more determined kid,” Purichia said. “She had her eyes on this. She was not going to allow anything else but to win this. I thought she played very, very well.”
Wilson’s energy definitely rubbed off on her teammates, and it showed on the stat sheet.
Providence junior outside hitter Haley Libs delivered 12 service points and 11 kills. Pioneer sophomore outside hitter Jacquie Hornung had a solid all-around match with 10 service points, seven kills, five digs and four blocks.
Providence junior setter Patricia Mattingly recorded a double-double with a match-high 33 assists and 11 digs. Providence sophomore libero Audrey Shannon made a match-high 15 digs.
“I thought Jacquie played very well. Audrey, Patricia, Maddie [Bivens] — they just all stepped up and made this team very hard to beat,” Purichia said.
Junior Carly Cappello paced Bishop Noll with a double-double, recording team highs in kills (14) and digs (13). Cappello also had a team-high 14 service points.
The Warriors led the match only once, which stunned Purichia. Bishop Noll’s lone lead came early in the third set. They went up 2-1 when Mattingly tapped the ball and grazed the antenna. Bishop Noll extended the advantage to 3-1 after a Cappello kill. But Providence answered with four unanswered points to go up 5-3 and did not relinquish the lead after that.
“It very much surprised me because we watched a great deal of tape on them, and we did not look at this as an easy task,” Purichia said after learning Bishop Noll led just once. “I thought their outsides both played very, very well, and they did some things to kind of trip us up a time or two. But again, that shows that our team can make some adjustments and come back firing at them again.”
A few minutes after winning the state championship, Purichia reflected on what her program and her alma mater just accomplished.
“It is such a special feeling that I have right now,” she said. “I have been overwhelmed with emotion all day. I woke up this morning just feeling in my heart that we were going to be able to bring back a state championship to the Providence volleyball program that has so much rich tradition and so many people that care so deeply about this team, this program and this school. I just believe in Providence and
what it stands for so much. I would like for the school to be recognized because of the great accomplishments that these kids are able to do.
“For me as an alumnus and as a former player and for me as someone who loves Providence High School as much as I do, I really can’t put it into words. It’s just such a special day.”