After a heartbreaking loss in the MSHSAA Class 3 District 16 tournament championship to end last season, the Maryville volleyball team got its 2019 campaign underway at home Sept. 3.
Miranda Foster entered her first season at the helm of the Spoofhounds as they took on the East Buchanan Bulldogs in their first game of the season. Even coming off of a 19-11-4 season just a year ago, it was an energetic crowd full of students back for another year of ‘Hounds’ volleyball. The Spoofhounds looked determined to put on a show for the town of Maryville with seniors Molly Renshaw and Brooke Katen leading the team out.
The Spoofhounds were in control for most of the match, starting solid with a quick and somewhat easy 25-11 win in set one. They controlled the action at the net for the entirety of the set with strong blocking and occasional digs throughout. Junior Serena Sundell accounted for most of the scoring during the set. Senior Brooke Katen and junior Kelsey Scott helped finish off the first set with attacks to the Bulldogs.
In the second and third sets, the Bulldogs were constantly knocking at the door, going on multiple streaks for three or four points at a time. East Buchanan middle-hitter sophomore Sidnee Carr accounted for nine of her team’s points in the second set and gave the Maryville blockers some troubles. Despite the scare, the Spoofhounds found a way to survive the second set, winning 25-23.
In the third set, the Spoofhounds cruised to a 25-19 finish against a depleted Bulldogs team giving them the clean sweep on the evening. Sundell did most of the attacking for Maryville after junior Macy Loe and Renshaw helped set up the hits.
The Spoofhounds won their first match of the year in convincing fashion despite it being the first match of the season and looked as if they were in mid-season form. The Spoofhounds delivered a win to their flourished crowd, giving them what they came to see.
“I was excited. We have a really good crowd; they get excited and show up for the games,” Foster said. “They all have awesome personalities, and they have a lot of fun in the stands. ... I’m glad we have the support we do.”
The Spoofhounds play host to eight more regular-season games this season and will hit the road for another eight contests. Contrary to years past, one thing the Spoofhounds are focused on this season is to keep the foot on the gas pedal when they lead.
“We want to maintain our side even when we feel secure; it can be easy to let up and let the other team have hope and gain momentum,” Foster said. “As a coaching staff, we make sure to keep the girls focused every single point and make sure we challenge ourselves.”
The Spoofhounds bring back a lot of key players this season after only losing two seniors. One of those players is Renshaw, who is one of the Spoofhounds floor generals and leaders this season.
“We have had a lot of different coaches since us seniors have been here,” Renshaw said. “This season feels different for us; it’s nice to get this clean sweep to start this season for us.”
In the four years that the class of 2020 has been at Maryville High School, the team has seen three different head coaches. Throughout all of the coaching changes, Renshaw said coach Foster has made all of the players believe that there are no weaknesses on the team and that they are only as good as they want to be.
Maryville’s next game is on the road against the Bulldogs at 6 p.m. Sept. 5 in Bethany, Missouri. The ‘Hounds look to start off their road stint with what could be another tune-up game for a hungry team looking to return to the title picture.