NORMAL — It wasn't the storybook ending that they envisoned, but the Valmeyer Piratess still wrote a new chapter in their school's sports history.
The Pirates claimed their school's first state trophy in a team sport -- albeit a fourth-place trophy -- as they fell to the Kansas Tri-County Titans 25-15, 25-21 Saturday in the third-place match of Class 1A State Volleyball Tournament.
The Pirates conclude their season at 28-11.
"It has been an unbelievable season,'' Valmeyer senior middle hitter Paige Whipple said as she fought back tears. "I couldn't ask for a better team to finish it with.''
Valemeyer coach Jenny Kohnz said her squad has a set a standard for all future squads in all sports to follow.
"Little Valmeyer has put themselves on the map, and now they know anybody can do it,'' Kohnz said. "If the volleyball team can do it, the basketball team can do it, the softball team can do it.''
The Pirates will be welcomed home to Valmeyer with an assembly at 6 p.m. Saturday at Valmeyer Junior High. The high school wasn't available because the school musical is currently being performed there.
Lizzy Bernard led the Titans, who ended their season at 36-3, with 12 kills.
The Pirates got six kills from Andrea Inman and four kills from both Tiffani Brewer and Whipple. Miranda Kaufmann had 14 assists, while Inman had nine digs.
Kohnz will lose three seniors -- Inman, Whipple and Brittany Killy -- to graduation.
"Getting to share it with these girls has just been a dream come true,'' Kohnz said.
Contact reporter Steve Korte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2522.