“The Providence volleyball team displayed tremendous perseverance and teamwork in its run to the state championship,” said State Representative Ed Clere (R-New Albany), who authored the resolution. “I’m very pleased to join my colleagues in recognizing this exceptional team. They’ve made southern Indiana proud.”
State Representatives Steve Stemler (D- Jeffersonville) and Rhonda Rhoads (R- Corydon) co-authored the resolution. The members were joined in the House chamber by the volleyball team, their coach Terri Purichia and President of Providence School Joan Hurley. State Senator Ron Grooms (R-Jeffersonville) sponsored the resolution in the Senate.
The Providence Pioneers defeated Hammond Bishop Noll in a run of 25-18, 25-15, and 25-20. The team gained its first state title after an almost undefeated season in class 2A volleyball. It was the team’s seventh appearance at a state championship and follows behind the volleyball team’s state runner-up status last year.
Leading Providence to the state championship was Providence graduate and 15 year coach, Terri Purichia. “This is such a special and unique group of people,” said Purichia. “They have great chemistry both on and off the court, and we are all extremely proud of the girls.”
Of the 14 girls on the roster, senior player Abby Spitznagel, won the mental attitude award for service, scholarship and leadership. In winning this award the IHSAA Executive Committee presented a $1,000 scholarship to Providence High School general scholarship fund in Abby’s name.
“It is great to be able to honor these kids,” said Rep. Stemler. “The accomplishments they’ve been able to achieve show they can be students and athletes at the same time. It is very exciting to be able to give them the recognition they deserve.”
On returning home, the volleyball team was surprised with a police escort, of both parents and fans, down I-69, back to Clarksville to a celebratory pep session. Additionally, they received welcome signs, presented at a town council meeting, stating “Welcome to Clarksville, Home of 2014 Volleyball State Champs”.
“It’s really exciting knowing that these girls will be graduating with a state title under their belt and brought such positive morale and respect to Providence,” said Senator Grooms. “I hope they continue their athletic success and sportsmanship as they advance through school and I wish them all the best in their future matches.
With only three seniors graduating this year, the future looks bright for Pioneer volleyball.