Nov. 9, 2019

By Fred Liggett

“Saturday was a fun, fun day” was how St. Michael Head Volleyball Coach Sheridan Zarda described the event and outcome that resulted in her team’s third straight trip to the Class 3 State Final Four. The event was a Class 3 Sectional match on Saturday, Nov. 2 hosted by St. Michael and the outcome was a Volleyball victory over Pleasant Hill 25-6 and 25-16 sending family and friends of the team into a frenzy.

Coach Zarda is now leading the St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School volleyball team to Southeast Missouri State University this weekend for the Class 3 Volleyball State Championships. The event will be held at the Show Me Center on the college campus in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

The team left for the site of the State Volleyball tournament on Thursday morning and held a practice at the Show Me Center that night. The Guardians will be busy on Friday the first day of the tournament where they will play at 4 p.m., again at 6 p.m. then finish round robin play with another match at 8 p.m. For the team to play again on Saturday depends on how well they did on Friday night. Saturday’s championship match is set for a 7:30 p.m. start right after the Class 3 third place match at 6 p.m. The fans, SMA students and friends of the team unable to make the trip to cheer them on in person can watch a video stream of all the action on The activities association plans to stream all games this weekend.

The Guardians volleyball team has given their fans quite a bit to cheer for in their journey to another Final Four state appearance. First up was a trip to the District tournament played at Notre Dame De Sion High School in South Kansas City. St. Michael entered the tourney as the second seed and calmly dispatched KC Southeast then eliminated the host Notre Dame De Sion before winning the Class 3, District 14 title by beating top seed Pembroke Hill.

Coach Zarda said the tournament was “Exciting, team gave it their all”. Coach Zarda added it helped that her team had seen Sion before as they played them on the very same court earlier in the season. The Guardians hadn’t seen top seeded Pembroke Hill prior to the post-season tourney.

The success of the Guardians this season is of no surprise to regular followers of this year’s team. Coach Zarda says “Had seniors have experience of what it takes to make it to state”. Zarda continues “The team had high expectations of themselves, Trust each other from player to coach and coach to player. Knowing each other better “.

Heading into the Final Four weekend here are a few key contributors to the team’s championship hopes. The Guardians are led by #6 outside hitter Abby Salanski who Coach Zarda says “Keeps the team energy high”. Another is #1 Emma Foley a Libero, “Been a constant person” and Brandi Simpson along with Alissa Lakin “who does a fantastic job at the net”. Fans and friends back home are welcome to follow the Guardians progress via a video stream or on Twitter at SMA Guardians. The team’s third straight trip to the Class 3 State Championships outcome may give another reason for fans and family to go into a state of frenzy.