By JI reporter Macy Salerno
Marian volleyball has maintained an ongoing winning tradition for decades. On Nov. 11, the Crusader volleyball team took down Millard North, the defending state champs, for a state title of their own. The team was led by captains senior Lily Heim and junior Emily Bressman, and Coach Amy McLeay. The players and coaches practiced almost everyday to take the title of state champs back. The sweet taste of victory made the season incredibly worth it and left the seniors with a feeling of accomplishment.
The Crusaders won state in 2015, but in 2016, Marian was beat in the semifinals of the tournament by Papillion-LaVista South in a nail-biting game. The team was hungry for revenge this year, and proved that they were capable of success.
The road to the state title was no easy feat. During the quarterfinals, Marian took down Lincoln Southeast winning three consecutive sets. Next, the team faced a tough Papillion-LaVista South, also winning three consecutive sets in the semifinal match. In the finals, Marian defeated rival Millard North winning three sets to one.
With seven seniors moving on next year, the team dynamic was incredibly special. Outside hitter and player of the state tournament Bressman, said, “The seniors made a big effort to be involved in our lives and be our friends. It was important to be close so that we had good chemistry on and off the court.” The close friendships made throughout the season were crucial for the team’s victory.
To top the win off, Marian Crusaders won the sportsmanship award, which is given to one school per class throughout the whole tournament. Marian fans were cheering and screaming throughout the whole tournament and showed off their school pride by dressing according to the theme of each day. On Nov. 9, the theme was cowgirl, on Nov. 10, the theme was St. Patrick’s Day, and on Nov. 11, the theme was black, white and blue. Marian volleyball, as well as fans, dominated the 2017 Class A Nebraska State tournament.