Comets coach Jerri Berna stormed the court at Westmoore High School with the rest of her Tulsa Kelley Comets. They'd just defeated No. 3 Edmond Memorial 3-2 to win the Class 6A state title.
Berna broke from the crush and stepped back toward the sideline to watch her girls enjoy the moment, the victory. Tears welled up in her eyes as she turned toward a Tulsa Kelley assistant coach.
“I'm so proud of them,” she told the coach. “That was unbelievable.”
The Comets have won six consecutive state championships, dating back to 2007, and 16 titles overall.
Tulsa Kelley (32-4) players hugged each other at the west end of the court and cried in each other's arms. Among them were seniors and All-Tournament performers Claire Kelley and Grace Balcerak.
“I feel so proud of my team for stepping up, and doing their jobs,” Balcerak said. “I have no words to express how thankful I am, how excited I am right now.”
Winning the 2012 championship was especially sweet for Kelley because it was the last game of her prep career.
“With it being senior year, this is just amazing,” Kelley said. “It's an incredible feeling. I can't even describe it.”
Edmond Memorial (30-5) pushed Tulsa Kelley in the match, forcing the Comets to drop their first sets of the tournament. Edmond Memorial senior and All-tournament performer McKenna Qualls notched 16 kills in the match.
“They're a great team,” Berna said of Edmond Memorial. “It's a shame anybody had to lose that match. It was awesome.”
Cascia Hall upsets Heritage Hall, repeats as state champion
Senior Jaime Rahilly spiked the point to give No. 3 Cascia Hall a 3-2 victory against No. 1 Heritage Hall (26-3). The win gave the Commandos their second straight Class 5A crown.
Rahilly said she'd been waiting all game for a set like the one she received from fellow senior and captain Carly Newell.
“I just hit it with all my heart, and it went down,” Rahilly said.
Rahilly and senior Liesl Spoerl were named Co-MVPs of the 5A tournament and combined for 22 kills and five blocks in the match.
Cascia Hall (27-6) coach Jenny Duncan said Rahilly's and Spoerl's play was exceptional.
“They just really wanted it all,” she said. “We wanted to repeat.”