Dominating Despite the Unknown


Lillie Hawker

The Mount Vernon Volleyball team celebrates after getting the match winning point in the State Semifinal game Nov. 4. Mount Vernon went on to play in the State Championship game the next day.

Lillie Hawker

Going into their season, the Mount Vernon volleyball team faced many challenges. Their gym had no power because of the derecho and the COVID-19 pandemic meant new protocols and guidelines and the uncertainty of not knowing whether or not they would get a full season.

Knowing that at any point in the season, volleyball could be shut down meant implementing changes to their normal practice routine. Senior Madi Cranston said that they started sanitizing the balls before and after practice and that they had to use hand sanitizer after every water break. “As a team, we came up with a team ‘covenant’ which was basically rules that we all agreed on to make sure that we all remained healthy and limit our exposure to getting COVID,” Cranston said.

COVID-19 didn’t, however, have an impact on how hard the team worked. Going into the season, the mustang team was the reigning State Champions, having won the state title the year before. Senior volleyball player Lauren Ryan said that going in the volleyball team had set goals to win another conference and state title. “Coach continued to remind us how much other teams would want to beat us,” Ryan said, “With the huge senior class, we were all motivated to finish our high school careers on a good note.”

The volleyball team made it all the way back to the state championship game, winning another conference title along the way. Although they lost to Osage, it did not take away from the accomplishment of making it back to the championship game. “Being one of the last two teams to play on the last day of the season is a big accomplishment!” Ryan said. Cranston also said that she thought of it as an accomplishment. “It felt amazing to make it back to the state championship game,” Cranston said, “Being able to finish my high school volleyball career in the state championship game was exactly where I wanted to be.”