The Advocate

Mayo Volleyball: a season of relentlessness

Kelly Klees, Staff Writer

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The Mayo Volleyball program has had a history of success with conference titles, state qualifications, all-state awards, and more. Coach Deb Frederick, the head coach of the volleyball team, had to have a different mindset with this year’s team. With six playing seniors graduating last year, including three all-conference players, it took a toll on the entire team. Instead of focusing on the past and what has been lost, Coach Frederick gave the team one word to focus on, “relentless.”

With “Be Relentless” spelled out on the back of each practice shirt, the Spartans were in the gym working on their game while getting stronger in the weight room each day, preparing for, then working through the tough season. The returning players included Jadyn Koestering, Emily Wandler, Olivia Jensen, Kelly Klees, Emma Goss, and Alexa Hruska. The Spartans added Freshman Lauren Klees and Sophomore Kennedy Hady to the starting line-up. Starting in August, the team began their season with a tough loss against Minnetonka in three games, following another loss against Mankato West. The Spartans quickly bounced back with an upset win against Red Wing, and continued to fight against the odds in every game, win or lose.

Going into sections, the Spartans received a ranking of 7. This lineup set the first section match to be against the Austin Packers at home. Going in, Mayo was expected to win this game after taking the Packers in 4 earlier in the season. However on the Wednesday night match, the Packers gave the Spartans a run for their money and took them to a close 4 games before Mayo won the match to continue on into the playoffs. This win meant a long drive to Lakeville North to test how truly relentless Mayo Volleyball can be.

Lakeville North recieved a #1 seed ranking this season in anticipation for the Cougars to advance to the State Tournament. The Spartans walked into the Lakville gym knowing they were the underdogs of this match and were prepared mentally and physically. The cougars held a great offense with a strong defensive back row, however the Spartans held their own through the entire match with staying within 5 points by the end of each match. However, the Cougars finished the third set with a kill, ending the season of Mayo Volleyball.

With the girls in tears by the time they reached the locker room, Coach Deb Frederick told everyone to keep their heads up and be proud of what they did on that court. The Spartans may have not finished the season the way they wanted to, but they knew what it meant to be relentless, despite any setback. Now they are ready to come back next Fall to take on another season.

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