Inside the FAB 50: Happy ending for Penn

By Kirstin Olsen

No. 18 Penn (Mishawaka, Ind.) upset No. 8 Avon in the IHSAA Class 4A final in four sets, 25-16, 17-25, 25-13, 25-18.

Senior outside hitter and IUPUI commit Kaitlyn Hickey had 18 kills, eight digs and three aces in the battle between two highly regarded POWERADE FAB 50 teams. The Kingsmen finish with a 38-1 record.

This marks the Kingsmen’s second consecutive state championship. Coach Sarah McFarland Hendricks, a former Loyola Marymount All-American and U.S. national team member, claimed her first state title as a coach.

No. 6 St. Ursula (Toledo, Ohio) continues to dominate the Hoosier state with wins over Avon Lake and Rocky River Magnificat last week. Middle blocker and New Hampshire commit Cassidy Croci and junior outside hitter Maddie Burnham had 11 kills each in the regional championship win over Rocky River Magnificat. This week the Arrows will face Walsh Jesuit in the OHSAA Division I semifinal. The 27-0 Arrows are looking to defend their state title.

No. 23 Edison (Huntington Beach, Calif.) has had and up-and-down year, taking first place at the Ann Kang Invitational in Hawaii, finishing third in the Silver Division at the Durango Classic with a win over Mira Costa, and grabbing a second-place finish at the Dave Mohs Invitational. The Chargers beat No. 15 Los Alamitos last week but lost to Laguna Beach and still came out as the No. 1 seed in the Sunset League. Senior outside hitter and Washington commit Cassie Strickland has been a difference-maker on their team this year.

Unranked Grapevine (Southlake, Texas) will surely move into the FAB 50 rankings this week after a huge win over No. 5 Carroll (Southlake, Texas) in five sets, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 24-26, 15-11. With an entire roster under 6-feet, the Mustangs rose to the occasion to beat the Dragons. Senior right side Sydney Braasch had 14 kills while twin sister Kiersten had 15 digs. Grapevine had lost in the area round in four sets to Carroll a year ago.