By Blake Colston
Southwest Covenant’s volleyball team’s meteoric rise this season now includes an historic achievement.
SWCS this week is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A for what’s believed to be the first time in school history. Covenant earned 20 of 36 possible first place votes in the latest coaches’ poll published on OSSAARankings.com
“To some degree, it’s a level of respect for the Southwest Covenant volleyball program and what it’s done in the past,” head coach Heath Kufahl said.
Covenant raced out to an 8-0 start this season and is currently 13-3 overall after rolling past Putnam City North Tuesday evening.
“I was extremely excited,” senior hitter Kenzie Moseley said of Southwest Covenant rising to No. 1 in the state. “It’s great to see our team thriving after all the hard work we’ve put in.”
The Lady Patriots got a reminder there’s still work to be done during their showdown with Class 4A No. 1 Community Christian School of Norman. The Royals (13-0) dispatched Southwest Covenant in three sets.
Kufahl thinks CCS is one of the top teams in the state, regardless of classification, so a win over the Royals, however special that would have been, wasn’t the main objective. He wanted to see his team pushed to their limits.
“The more you can do that, the more the game slows down for you,” he said. “We’re trying to create a competitive culture that leads to sustained success.”
Following the game with Community Christian, Kufahl said his team must sharpen its serve-receive game to compete with the top teams.
“It’s a fast-moving season and we have to continue to improve,” he said.
Covenant got senior hitter Klyne Lee back from injury, which should take some pressure off Moseley, the team-leader in kills as SWCS gets ready for a string of difficult matches against 4A No. 2 Bethany, 4A No. 4 Oklahoma Christian School, as well as a matchup vs. 11th-ranked Tuttle.
A few weeks later, postseason play begins. Southwest Covenant in its history has never won a game at the state tournament, but this team could change that, and for Kufahl, that’s what matters most.
“You’d rather be (No.1) at the end of the season, for sure,” he said.