Nov. 5, 2011
No. 2 Penn Tops No. 1 Avon to Defend 4A State Championship
It a battle of the top two ranked teams in Class 4A, it was No. 2 Penn handing No. 1 Avon its first loss of the season, a 25-16, 17-25, 25-13, 25-18 victory for the state championship in Muncie.
It was Penn’s second consecutive state championship after winning the school’s first a year ago. Sarah Hendricks is the first year Penn coach while last year’s Kingsmen squad was directed by Lisa Pawlik.
Penn (38-1) ended the year winners of 33 straight matches and registered its 13th straight tournament victory dating to the start of last year’s sectional. Their lone blemish was a 2-0 loss to Muncie Burris on Aug. 27.
Kaitlyn Hickey led the Kingsmen with 18 kills and three service aces in the match. Becca Lira and Annie Drews added 11 kills each and Natalie Meert dug 13 balls. Katie Higginbotham and Emily Graves shared the Avon lead with nine kills apiece. Alli Bexall and Brooke Peters had 14 and 11 digs, respectively.
Coached by Scott McQueen, Avon was attempting to become the first 4A squad to complete a perfect season since the class era began in 1997. The Orioles’ second set win was the first one Penn had dropped in the last 22 matches.
Saturday’s state finals attendance was a record 8,102 which easily topped last year’s 4,735, the first year of the four-match format.
Kaitlyn Hickey Named Mental Attitude Award Winner
Kaitlyn Hickey of Penn High School was named winner of the 2011 Mental Attitude Award for Girls 4A Volleyball by members of the IHSAA Executive Committee.
The award is presented annually to a senior in each classification who demonstrates excellence in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability.
Kaitlyn owns a 3.9 grade point average and has taken a rigorous academic schedule that includes several Honors, Advanced Placement, and Advanced College Project Classes.
The multi-sport athlete was a part of Penn’s 2010 state championship volleyball team and helped lead the Kingsmen to a runner-up finish at the 2011 Girls 4A Basketball State Finals.
She is the daughter of Louis and Michelle Hickey of Granger. Next fall Kaitlyn will attend IUPUI on a volleyball scholarship.
Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, the IHSAA’s corporate partner, presented a scholarship check for $1,000.00 to Penn High School in the name of Kaitlyn Hickey. Since 1989, more than $745,000 in college scholarships has been presented by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance to deserving high school students in Indiana.