The Knights and Indians volleyball teams' seasons came to an end last week. That didn't stop the coaches from beaming about the future of their programs.
The St. Mary’s girl's volleyball team advanced to the second round with a win over Cedar Mountain in Section 2A playoffs. The Knights advanced to face the number two seeded Mayer Lutheran. Mayer Lutheran ended the Knights season with a 3-0 sweep.
Although the ending did not turn out in a way they wanted, Coach Jen Walter was proud of the season her girls had. “It was nice to win that first-round playoff game,” Walter stated. “We gave Mayer Lutheran everything we had so we have no regrets with how the season ended.”
The Knights started the season strong winning eight of their first 12 games and then taking third place in the Sleepy Eye Invitational in September. St. Mary’s struggled a bit during the conference season but showed growth by the end of the year.
With the conclusion of the season, Walter looks forward to the future of the Knights’ program. Gleaming with pride, Walter said, “I am very excited about the future of Knights volleyball.” Claiming the Knights’ numbers are staying steady and that the girls in the program are dedicated and willing to work at improving in the off-season. Walter also pointed out the exceptional job Lauren Hoffmann did this season and is excited for her to return as a libero next year.
The Knights graduate seven senior girls from the team and Walter says she will miss their hard work and positive attitudes.
Madison Mathiowetz was a key contributor on the season as she had 172 digs and 144 set assists. Cassie Heinrichs led the team with 134 with a season-high 12 against Springfield in September. Lauren Hoffmann pitched in with 265 digs on the season. Leah Weiss led the team in set assists with 302, eclipsing over 20 in one game four times.
After their upset in the first round of the Section 2A playoffs against BLHS, the Indians traveled to take on the No. 1 seeded BOLD Warriors and fell 3-0.
Head Coach Sydney Geiger reflected on the season after the loss. “Overall, the girls played tough all season.” Geiger also was proud of how her team competed throughout the year. “We battled all year going four or five sets quite often.” Some went their way, some did not.
The Indians found themselves needing the underclassmen to step up after losing a big senior class last season. “I am proud of the way that the underclassmen found a way to come together on the court this season.”
Geiger also expressed her pride in the team with winning over eight games, including a playoff game. “We will definitely miss our seniors’ leadership and will have some big holes to fill next season.” Geiger is looking forward to the current juniors and the rest of the upperclassmen to step into big roles next year.
The Indians were led statistically by Sandy Flores as she contributed 178 set assists throughout the year, while Cassidy Hoffmann added 168. Senior Madi Krueger led the team with 294 digs. Macy Schenk and Brittney Dittbenner rounded out the leaderboards with 133 and 124 kills respectively.