With the regular season nearing a close, Maryville volleyball finds itself in a prime position atop MSHSAA’s Class 3 District 16.
The Spoofhounds (21-4) got out to a 6-0 start to the season before having the win streak halted by MEC rival Lafayette. Coach Miranda Foster’s team has four losses on the year, one of those coming via the effort of reigning MSHSAA Class 3 District 16 Champion Savannah. Another significant loss of the remaining two was in the season rematch with the Fighting Irish.
Despite the three losses to familiar faces in the district, Foster believes that the team will be ready to go for the district tournament later in October.
“It’s good to know that we’re currently in first place of the district,” Foster said. “It’s just funny; we still have some things that we need to work on and always will. But it’s nice to know that going into seeding we’re sitting pretty, for the most part.”
Prior to Senior Night Oct. 17, the Spoofhounds took part in the Benton Tournament Oct. 12. Foster and company were the eventual champions of the tournament, extending the team’s win streak to eight games.
A match on the road against St. Michael the Archangel Oct. 14 was a close one, going the full distance of three sets. Junior middle hitter Serena Sundell’s netplay was crucial to Maryville’s 2-1 win, adding the latest notch to the Spoofhounds’ win streak. Much like her coach, Sundell is ready to get going in the district tournament.
“(The win streak) feels good going towards districts,” Sundell said. “It gives us confidence going into districts. We were sitting on top of the conference last year too, I think, so kind of in the same position again. It just gives us a little more confidence and room to work with going into the tournament.”
Some of the areas that the Spoofhounds have struggled with was errant serving and jaded focus, combined with a lack of game plan execution, Foster said. The young roster has presented many challenges throughout the season, as every sport tends to see, but those three areas have plagued the Spoofhounds’ volleyball team this season.
Heading into the Benton tournament, the commanding lead on the rest of the district doesn’t have Foster as much worried about the outcome of matches, but learning what the team has to fix if they want to be successful in the postseason.
“I’m not too worried about the finishes right now, as much as I am learning along the way,” Foster said. “I’m just excited for the opportunity to play Pembroke Hill and put that in front of them like, ‘Let’s see what we can do, manage our side and do the best that we can.”
As much as could’ve been learned throughout the matchup against Pembroke Hill in the Benton Tournament, the Spoofhounds got an added bonus with a 2-1 win over the Raiders.
Maryville will be left with a handful of opportunities left to prepare themselves for the district tournament, the regular-season finale being against a traditional powerhouse in St. Pius Oct. 22.
“I don’t like to really put unnecessary pressure on the girls,” Foster said. “No matter what our seeding is, we still have to perform well at districts. Whether we’re the one seed, two, three, four, whatever, we’re going to have to go prove ourselves.”