The streets of downtown Maryville brimmed with energy the night of Nov. 6 as its citizens gathered to welcome home the 2020 MSHSAA Class 3 volleyball state champions. Between the screams of excited parents and the sirens of the 97.1 The ’Ville truck, it was impossible to perceive anything besides Spoofhound pride.
Maryville volleyball capped off its 21-2 season with a 3-0 sweep over Central (Park Hills). However, when the ball hit the ground opposite of the Spoofhounds’ side of the net, it came as a shock to senior libero Klarysa Stolte.
“It didn’t feel real; it didn’t set in for me for a while,” Stolte said. “We never realized that we had made it to state and swept the team in the championship. I don’t even think it’s set in with me yet, but it was a really good feeling.”
Emotions were at an all-time high for the ’Hounds, as many of those who suited up for the championship match won’t suit up again in a Maryville uniform.
“I am the libero — or, I guess I was the libero,” Stolte said after wiping away her stream of tears. “It’s a little hard because everyone is crying right now, but we went out the best way we could. We went as far as MSHSAA would let us and we brought home first place, so I think it’s a good way to say I’m no longer the libero.”
Stolte said she and her teammates didn’t shed a tear until they cranked up the sad music and pulled into the parking lot of Maryville High School for the last time as a team. Despite being sad about departing from her teammates, she was glad to see the town rally in celebration.
After winning her first state title in her second year at the helm of the program, coach Miranda Mizera was more than happy to have the spotlight pointed on her team.
“I don’t really like the spotlight on myself,” Mizera said with a chuckle. “I mean I love the fun and participating in that, but I really like for the girls to shine the most. They deserve it, and this group of girls has been working hard in the past couple of years.”
Mizera said she was happy her team’s versatility and differing skill levels could push the Spoofhounds to the success it discovered this year.
With this championship, Maryville volleyball became the first girls sport to win a state title in school history. Senior outside hitter Ilse Flores walked off the bus in awe of the feat her team achieved.
“It means the world to all of us,” Flores said. “It’s really insane that nobody has done this before, and we’re really going to leave our mark, especially the seniors because it’s our last year and we’re really going to be remembered.”
Both Flores and Stolte said they’ve left their mark on the program with this championship and they hope that it sparks a tradition of winning.
“I definitely think this is a great team and they’re going to do great things,” Flores said. “I hope they can bring in even more state championships, and I know they can.”
“These girls were so incredibly close,” Stolte said. “We made it our goal to sync together to make it here, and it obviously paid off for us. I think this championship shows these girls after us that anything is definitely possible if you put in the time and the effort.”
Maryville volleyball traveled to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, with nothing but determination and returned with a championship trophy to boast. Although the twilight parade was the first, Mizera is praying it isn’t the last.
“Obviously, we never know what the future holds,” Mizera said. “I think that God has a plan, and I just hope that’s part of his plan for me.”