LENEXA, Kan. — Winning never gets old.

St. James Academy (12-0) may own a lot of KSHSAA State Volleyball Championships, but they’re still working hard and keeping the crown in their sights.

“Be smart, be smart!” Lady Thunder Coach Nancy Dorsey often shouts to her athletes, keeping their minds focused and their efforts moving forward.

Dorsey, who has won nine state titles as St. James head coach, believes this year’s team can do great things as well. The 2022 Lady Thunder remains undefeated after a Thursday night win over rival Bishop Miege.

Dorsey believes the competition keeps getting stronger. This season, St. James has needed three sets to win several volleyball matches.

“They’re coming for us. We know we can’t take a day off” Dorsey said. “I have a pretty strong philosophy that to be the best you have to play the best. We try to set our schedule playing really good competition — not only from our own state, but also from outside states.”

“The wins don’t add up. They all feel like something different, like a new challenge I just accomplished,” St. James libero/University of Kansas commit Heidi Devers said. ”We can go all the way to state champions.”

“Most people get surprised. They come to the games and they’re like — that was so much fun. I should come to another one. When do you play next?” Lady Thunder middle hitter Kate McKnight said.

Postseason potential is here as well. For all of Saint James success on the volleyball court, the Thunder hasn’t won it all since 2018. This year’s club uses only four seniors to face Kansas Class 5A’s best teams.

St. James Academy will seek win number 13 when the Lady Thunder meets St. Thomas Aquinas in Lenexa on Tuesday.