MUNCIE, Ind. -- Avon High School sophomore outside hitter Beth Prince still recalls the stinging disappointment of last year's state final loss.
"This year we had to overcome so much adversity and made it back," Prince said.
Saturday night, the Orioles, who graduated several key players from 2011, completed their mission.
The 6-3 Prince contributed 24 kills to lift the No. 4 Orioles to a 21-25, 25-20, 25-17, 21-25, 15-10 victory over No. 2 Carmel in the Class 4A state volleyball championship at Ball State's Worthen Arena.
It was the second state championship in any sport for the Orioles, whose first state crown came in boys golf in 2009.
"It feels special that I got to be with this group of girls who were capable of doing that," Orioles junior setter Rachel Griffin said.
Last year the volleyball team suffered their first loss of the season to Penn in the state final.
The Orioles (35-5) needed time to jell, losing to Carmel in three games on Aug. 21.
The experience of being in the final last year definitely helped, but the girls still had some jitters, Prince said.
"It went to five (games), so we were kind of freaking out," Prince said. "On the outside, we were saying 'Let's just be calm.' But on the inside, it was 'Oh my God.' We were so nervous. But we kept our composure. I think we began to gain momentum near the end of the first game."
Coach Scott McQueen said the pressure began to build after his Orioles took a 2-games-to-1 lead.
"We were a little frantic, me included," McQueen said. "I told them we were going to have some breaks and calls go against us. I kind of wish I hadn't been such a future teller. It's tough. We may have been here last year, but we hadn't won yet.
"I always say the last game is the hardest one to win, and Carmel obviously is a very good team. I think we still had a little craziness in the fifth game, but for the most I felt we went for it."
After Carmel won the first point in the fifth game, Avon scored the next four points and never trailed.
Prince's 24 kills were a 4A five-game record.
"That's amazing, but I honestly don't feel like I did," Prince said. "I couldn't do it without my girls. They are everything."
McQueen said Prince, who was named ESPN Freshman of the Year last season, was a force as usual.
"At times, I even overlook her because you just expect her to have 20-plus kills every single match," McQueen said.
Avon sophomore outside hitter Calle Weddle delivered 15 kills.
"I thought Weddle was huge," McQueen said. "She didn't start out very good, but for her to come back and get into it mentally and really drive us through was huge."
The Greyhounds finished with a 37-2 record, making their first appearance in a state volleyball final.
"We just didn't execute like we wanted to," said Carmel coach Rich Coleman, who said Avon deserved credit for its play. "Everybody says Beth is the best player in the country, and apparently she is. We fought until the end, but we're not happy with this."
Avon senior Kayla Springer earned the Class 4A Mental Attitude Award. Attendance for the entire day was a state finals record of 14,200.