By MICHAEL ALEXANDER, Staff Photographer | Published December 6, 2018
ATLANTA—St. Pius X High School volleyball, under the leadership of head coach John Frederick, won its second state championship. The first championship came in 2013. St. Pius advanced to the state finals with a 3-0 semifinal win over Cartersville High School.
In the championship match St. Pius prevailed over defending state champions Marist 3-1 ( 25-15, 14-25, 25-18, 25-23). After splitting the first two sets, 25-15 and 14-25, respectively, St. Pius X took the final two sets 25-18 and 25-23 to win its second state title in five years.
Senior outside hitter Anna Porter posted a double-double with 10 kills and 15 digs in her final career match. Freshman middle blocker Annemarie Rakoski chipped in nine kills and freshman Emma Farrell and senior Abby Brown each had 11 digs in the win. Brown also recorded 20 assists and sophomore Ava Pitchford added 18 assists. The Lady Golden Lions finished the season with a 19-game match winning streak. They compiled a season-ending record of 42-5 and they were a perfect 8-0 as region champions.
St. Pius boys’ cross country team won its 10th state title and its seventh since 2010 during the Nov. 3 meet at Carrollton High School. They outscored defending champions, and second-place Marist School, by 63 points. Jack Voss finished in third place with a time of 16:37.15 and Rowan Wiley placed fourth with a time of 16:53.06. St. Pius X had four runners in the top 10, as Nicholas Fontova (16:59.84) and John Owens (17:07.81) finished sixth and eighth, respectively. St. Pius ran the course with an average pace of 17:01.65. Ryan McClay just completed his 10th year as the head boys cross country coach.
The Marist boys’ cross country team was state runner-up. Marist senior Leif Andersen was the meet’s first place finisher with a time of 16:17.75.
For over a decade, the boys’ cross country teams at Marist and St. Pius have dominated. Since 2008, Marist has won seven state championships, all in Class AAAA. St. Pius has also won seven state championships since 2010, four in Class AAA and three in Class AAAA.
On the other hand, one school has dominated Class AAAA girls cross country, and that’s Marist School. The girls’ cross country team won its 11th consecutive state championship since 2008 on Nov. 3. With a time of 19:22.17, Marist senior Kathleen Maley led the team with a first-place finish. Marist had two additional runners to place in the top 10. Lucy Jewell Watson (19:54.36) and Nora Solomon (20:07.55) also finished in eighth and ninth place, respectively. Eric Heintz has been the head cross country coach for boys and girls at Marist since 2006.
The St. Pius girls’ cross country team was state runner-up. Maggie Yankovich (19:34.44), Catherine Breault (19:45.97) and Mary Brady (19:49.10) finished in third, fourth and sixth place, respectively. Debbie Guilbeau is the head girls’ cross country coach.
The Blessed Trinity High School boys and girls team finished the meet in third place.