The Maryville volleyball team found a way to stay perfect at home after a five-set scare from Southwest Valley (Iowa) Sept. 10.
In the final match of the first full week of the season, coach Miranda Foster’s Spoofhounds hoisted an unblemished 3-0 record heading into the matchup against the Timberwolves, who were also perfect before facing the ‘Hounds.
With Southwest Valley making the hour drive south from Corning, Iowa, the two teams participated in an interstate contest — something that doesn’t happen all that often in high school.
“There’s a little less pressure with the record standpoint,” Foster said to Tucker Franklin of the Maryville Forum. “Obviously, every win counts, but just to know that team isn’t in your conference or in your district is just a fun time to go out and play some other people.”
The first set consisted of the ‘Hounds jumping out to a quick 8-4 lead before the ‘Wolves took a timeout in an attempt to slow down Maryville’s scoring attack. Seemingly ineffective, the Spoofhounds went on to win the first set, 25-14.
Junior setter Macy Loe said that having significantly more seniors compared to last year has attributed to the ‘Hounds’ success to this point in the season.
“We have a lot more leadership and confidence with having older girls on the court,” Loe said. “We’re excited to see how this factor can contribute to our season.”
Throughout the rest of the contest, the ‘Hounds and ‘Wolves traded sets back and forth, until it came time to decide who would walk away win the win in the fifth and final set of the evening.
Much like the first set, Maryville was able to jump to an early lead on Southwest Valley. An 11-9 Maryville lead was enough to force the Timberwolves into calling another timeout to stop the momentum in the ‘Hound Pound.
The Spoofhounds eventually held on to secure the win by inching past the ‘Wolves with a 15-11 victory in the deciding set.
Although the contest shed light on some things that the ‘Hounds could work on, senior outside hitter Brooke Katen has found one of the strong suits of the program in her first year being a part of it.
“We have really strong team chemistry, and I feel like that helps us a lot on the court,” Katen said. “We always have a good time when we are together, whether we are in practice, in a game or at our team bonding activities. … I also feel like we all have a really good relationship with Coach Foster because she is tough on us and has expectations for us but we also have a lot of fun with her, so it is a good balance.”
The win against the Timberwolves brings the ‘Hounds to a perfect 4-0 start on the season. This year’s team has recorded the best start since 2016 when the program kicked off the season winning seven consecutive contests.
In addition to chasing the benchmark set at the start of the 2016 season, Maryville will make the 45-minute trek south to open MEC play against Bishop LeBlond. That matchup against the Eagles puts the ‘Hounds on notice for what they have to do to outlast the rest of the conference.
“In the game of volleyball, the team that makes the least amount of errors will win,” Loe said. “Coach Foster has been telling us this from day one, and has weaved it into our practices, ‘As long as we limit our errors and keep our strengths consistent ... we will come out on top.’”
JD Wessel contributed to this report.