Volleyball Loses in Semifinals to Union

News, Rotator, Uncategorized, Volleyball — By on November 14, 2016 2:55 pm
The team gathers around their trophy after losing to Union in  four sets.

The team gathers around their trophy after losing to Union in four sets. Photo by Emma Klinkhammer.

By Paige Zaruba and editor staff
The last set of the season was 32-30. The numbers alone show the struggle of a hard-fought match against top-ranked Union and a determined team who consistently plays in the state tournament under the leadership of Mount Vernon coach Maggie Willems.

“We played like every point was the last,” said middle hitter Katie Wycoff, a senior. “We knew that Union was a good team and we would have to give everything we had in order to beat them. We practiced defending specific things Union does out of serve receive.”

No. 7 Mount Vernon fell to Union in four sets 16-25, 25-20, 29-27, 32-30 at the U.S. Cellular Center Thursday. The Mustangs had defeated Union in two sets back in October.

It was not lack of preparation that lost the match. Mount Vernon practiced the day of the match, and had intense fitness conditioning the week prior.

“Libby Ryan wanted that match more than anyone,” said teammate Kelsey Shady, a senior. Ryan, a senior, is the granddaughter of coach Shirley Ryan, who first started volleyball in Mount Vernon in 1972 and led the team to state championships in 1984, 2009 and 2010.

Four senior starters played in state matches every year of their high school careers: Sydney Meeker, Ryan, Wynne Vandersall, and Kaitlyn Volesky. “I’m really going to miss the seniors in the years to come,” said middle hitter Rory Light, a sophomore. “They have contributed greatly to this team and they have been amazing leaders for us underclassmen.”

“Our team this year is a family,” said Wycoff. “We’re all best friends. We win together and lose together. I love all of them and I think we’re one of the closest teams out there.”

“You don’t come across a team and people like this very often,” said setter Ella Brase, a sophomore. “The passion my teammates had for the game and for each other was so strong. I’ve made so many unforgettable memories and friendships that I’ll cherish forever.”

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