As Maryville volleyball walked out onto the court to dominant conference rival Savannah Sept 23, the schedule loomed as it enters its closing period with only one home game left against Plattsburg Oct. 8.
The Spoofhounds (11-3) have gained a chance this season to prove their strengths under second year coach Marissa Felt. Now with the end near the dream of a conference possibility is as close to a reality as ever.
Senior night is a highly anticipated event for any school, but with only two seniors on the team, it was a push for something more. Senior Vanessa Klotz last week could only talk about the energy that she wanted to give to grab every win, especially against Savannah. It was a focus not only on the celebrations that would precede the game, but taking the game with passion and just moving on to the next.
Maryville knows what it wants out of this season and no one win can satisfy the hunger for the Midland Empire Conference Championship. The hunt for October gold is on, and the Spoofhounds are well within the reach of its glory.
“I think it comes down to which team wants it more; I don’t think it’ll come down to skill level, because we all are good teams in our conference,” Felt said. “I think it just comes down to wanting it, the girls know that, and I tell them that the game will come down to who wants it more.”
One of the biggest obstacles Maryville faces on the final stretch of this schedule, is the team that crushed their goals last year in the postseason and was personally responsible for one of the three Spoofhound loses, St. Joseph-Benton.
Last year’s District Championship still remains fresh in the Spoofhounds’ brains as well as a more recent 2-0 defeat at home against the Cardinals.
“Benton definitely is going to be a determiner of that (MEC Championship),” sophomore Serena Sundell said. “We have to go in there with our heads right, knowing that we can beat them.”
Passion, youth and grit are all fundamental words that can be used to describe this Maryville squad. They are different from last year’s team full of veteran leaders, and that’s what makes them special and dangerous all at the same time.
“Last year we had a group of six seniors, so they kind of did it themselves,” Felt said. “But just having two this year, I feel like I have to step up and be a leader for my team as well, even more than a coach is already.”
Felt’s checklist has circled many accomplishments for only one full year of work, but in the second year she hopes to check off a few more achievements. Either the results will favor her or the other squad, but Felt couldn’t ask for anything more out of her second year.
“I can’t believe how fast that it has gone this season,” Felt said. “Looking back into last year, I think I’m better prepared to get the girls ready for games and pumped up.”