Monday, 24 June 2019
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Centralia Volleyball Sends Coach Tennal Out on Top with 1A State Title
By Jonny Kane
Copyright: MSC Sports

Heading into Saturday’s 1A state tournament semifinals in Emporia, the Centralia volleyball team had several things to play for including a third consecutive state title and what was a 78-match win streak.

Perhaps the biggest thing the Panthers were playing for was the fact that they wanted to give their longtime head coach Kimbrook Tennal, who is currently battling colon cancer, a reason to smile.

After what has been a long last several months for Coach Tennal ,he was all smiles, as the Panthers battled through adversity (including dropping just their third set all season) to claim a 15th state volleyball title in program history.

Centralia opened up the day by taking on 6-seeded Moundridge in the semifinals, and for just the third time all season the Panthers dropped a set falling in the first 23-25. Centralia wasn’t fazed, as they dominated the next two sets 25-15, 25-13 to win the match and move into the title match.

The Panthers then had to go up against another undefeated team in Spearville, who entered the match with a perfect 44-0 record.

Centralia opened up the match with a dominating performance in the first set, rattling off the final 10 points of the set to win 25-14. The second set was much closer, but after Spearville scored the first point of the set the Panthers never trailed finishing off a third consecutive state title with a 25-21 win.

Centralia ended the year with a perfect 47-0 record, and extended their current match win streak to 80 consecutive matches.  Six seniors closed their prep volleyball career with an overall record of 174-4.  

The Panthers also finished with four girls on the 1A all-tournament team, as Maegan Koch and Kennedy Becker were each selected for the second straight year while Madison Lueger was named to the team for a third time and freshman Avery Deters for the first time.

The win also marked the final for legendary head coach Kimbrook Tennal who announced his retirement, sending the Hall of Fame coach out on top with his 15th state title at Centralia.  Coach Tennal has an overall record of 771 wins and only 48 total losses with 19 state championships, including eight with his wife Kim at Centralia and six at Nemaha Valley plus now five since taking the Centralia job back.   

©2019 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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