Maryville volleyball took its family mentality into the Class 3 state tournament and returned to Maryville with the first female state championship in Maryville High School history.
The Spoofhounds defeated Harmann in the Final Four 3-1 and defeated Central (Park Hills) in the state title game 3-0. Led by second-year coach Miranda Mizera, it’s the first time the program found itself at the summit of Missouri high school volleyball.
As the team reflects on the season, the Spoofhounds feel this team had something special compared to teams prior, and they proved that to be true. It was perhaps due to the fact it was a senior-heavy team with seven seniors leading the way.
“The girls know how to lead, and the team is supportive of each other and is what has made us successful,” Mizera said.
The Spoofhounds finished their season with a record of 21-2. The two losses they faced were from teams out of their class and district. They posted an undefeated mark in the MEC.
Senior setter Macy Loe tallied a career assist record for Maryville, and senior outside hitter Serena Sundell reached 1,000 career kills halfway through the season.
“I’ve never seen a team with the chemistry we had,” Loe said. “There was no drama and no problem with any of the girls, which is rare for teenage girls, which makes us all forever grateful for this team and ending the season on a great note is something we will all remember.”
The Spoofhounds credit their success to the leadership and guidance set in place by Mizera. The team feels she has taught them great things on the court and things for life past high school.
“I’ve learned so many things in volleyball that will translate off the court, and I credit it all to coach Mizera,” Loe said. “She was the biggest role model for the team and taught us to always keep an open mind, be ready for anything to be thrown our way and to know how to handle it the right way, so honestly she will always be a friend we can go too.”
Sports have always been around to bring guidance to athletes in life, and that’s been exemplified on the team this season. Senior libero Klarysa Stolte, the leader on the defensive side of the net, feels this team never had a doubt it would win state.
“Although it’s super cheesy, I think the season has helped us all realize that mostly anything is possible if you trust yourself and the people around you,” Stolte said. “We never had any doubts in each other and our skills and it paid off for us.”
None of the girls are committed anywhere for collegiate volleyball, but winning a state championship could change the way colleges recruit the Spoofhounds. Sundell is committed to Kansas State for basketball, where she looks to make an impact as a freshman with quality minutes.
Their goal for next season is to have the same mentality as this season and look to repeat their efforts from this season.
“Honestly, I'm so proud of this team overall,” Stolte said. “Us 10 girls created a strong bond that carried us all the way to state and gave us plenty of great memories that will last a lifetime.”