Outside hitter Vanessa Klotz returns this season as the Spoofhound’s lone senior.

The Maryville volleyball team looks to rebound this season after a crushing upset by St. Joseph Benton in the district title game a year ago.

The Spoofhounds had swept Benton in the regular season and may have overlooked the matchup in districts. Thus, the season ending loss came a little earlier than the ‘Hounds were expecting.

Overall, the girls finished the 2017 season with a 22-8 record and graduated six seniors. At the same time, Maryville has a group of sophomores that have stepped up.

“Losing six seniors from last year’s team has definitely had a big impact, and it’s been hard filling those shoes,” coach Marissa Felt said. “But the two seniors that we have this year have been outstanding with the younger girls and have been more than willing to step in and help when needed.”

Setting goals has also been a very important part of the young season for the Spoofhounds.

“Showing up and being present at every game is one of our biggest goals we have as a team this season,” senior Vanessa Klotz said. “Stat goals are of the biggest improvements we want to make as a team this year. Ninety-two percent serving is ultimately what we want to achieve this season.”

Maryville’s first test is going to come on the road Aug. 28 as they travel to East Buchanan High School in Gower, Missouri. This is a non-conference matchup and will test the Spoofhounds. This match will be a repeat of last season’s opener with the ‘Hounds sweeping the Bulldogs in two games.

“To get where we want to be this season is going to take a lot of dedication and hard work,” Felt said. “When we get to our conference schedule and play teams like St. Joseph Benton and Bishop LeBlond, we are going to have to bring our ‘A’ game. They are going to be taking each day as an opportunity to get better, and we need to do the same.”

A successful program has always been the nature of the volleyball team, and even though this is only Felt’s second year as the head of the volleyball team, she looks to carry on that tradition.

“Even though we lost in districts last year, I think we have the skills to make it there again,” junior Caroline Morely said. “But, putting the team first over each individual self is something we are going to have to do to make that happen.”

The Spoofhounds home opener is scheduled for Aug. 30 against the South Harrison Bulldogs and the first conference game will be against arch-rival, St. Joseph Benton Cardinals Sept. 3 in Maryville.

“I always say that we can win our conference,” Felt said. “Last year, we were unbelievably close and this year, I definitely think it’s doable.”

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