Maryville volleyball’s season came to an end Nov. 2 in the MSHSAA Class 3 Sectional via the hands of St. Michael the Archangel in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. The ’Hounds fell in straight sets to Pleasant Hill 25-23, 25-18.
The ”Hounds had a slow start out of the gate, eventually falling to an 18-12 deficit. Out of the team’s second timeout, Maryville battled back to tie the match at 19-19 but later fell in a tightly contested first set.
“I saw a lot of hustle and a lot of really awesome plays made at the end of that set,” coach Miranda Foster said. “I told the girls going into the end of set number two, ‘Let's keep that energy and that focus,’ and I think we did pretty well with that in the second set.’”
Her encouragement seemed to work, until it didn’t. The ’Hounds jumped to an 8-1 advantage in the second set, but the Chicks fought back to take a 17-14 lead. Maryville would give up 8 out of the remaining 11 points in the match, leading to the sweep.
Foster thought there was something missing in the team’s performance.
“There was some tension; everyone was a little nervous,” senior setter Josie Pitts said. “We all wanted to do well and were trying to work our hardest. I wanted to win and was hoping that we could pull through.”
Per usual in a season-ending loss, everything about it was bittersweet. Maryville earned its first season with more than 25 wins and won its first district title since moving to MSHSAA’s Class 3 in 2010.
“It was overall really fun and rewarding,” Pitts said. “Getting that district — it was really memorable.”
Foster owed the team’s success to a disciplined and hardworking team. The ’Hounds had two players tabbed to the Midland Empire All-Conference teams. Juniors Serena Sundell and Macy Loe earned first-team and second-team, respectively.
“We had some very driven girls and passionate players,” Foster said. “They were willing to work hard for each other and do what was asked of them.”
The 2019 team, Pitts said, was something special. They had the best chemistry of any Spoofhound team during her tenure there, Pitts said.
“I think we really came together, and everyone got really close this year,” Pitts said.
Team chemistry was one of Foster’s focuses for the program all season-long. As a first-year coach, she was forced to gain her team’s trust. The transition was smooth, Pitts said, and the team responded well to the change.
“It went really well,” Pitts said. “As the season went on, we got closer and closer. We got to know her rules and expectations.”
The Spoofhounds were able to enjoy success in the regular season and somewhat in their brief stay in the postseason. The 2019 campaign led Maryville to sectionals for the fourth time in school history.
“I’m proud of our team and getting the district championship,” Pitts said. “It was a really big accomplishment for us — a good way to end.”