The Marian Varsity Volleyball team has always been a force to be reckoned with. With 4 state championships in the past 5 years, Marian volleyball dominates in every aspect of the game. A consistent group that has attributed to much of the volleyball program’s success are this year’s seven seniors. Without their leadership on and off the court the volleyball program could not be what it is today. Senior Hailey Zuroske, a member of the varsity team for the past four years, said, “the best part [of being a senior on the team] is being someone that the younger players can look up to and being both a leader, and more involved.”
With a record of 24-11, this team has had an especially noteworthy season. The Crusaders are currently in their final weeks of preparation to qualify for the state tournament. Along the way, they have had some very noteworthy games, one of which being the highly-attended senior night on Oct. 4.
With the stands overflowing with fans, it is no surprise the team reined the court in the way they did that Thursday night. A close loss to Papio South in the first set motivated the team to push through and make a comeback. Sure enough, the team came back stronger than ever in the last three sets, winning the game 3-1. Junior Sarah Montague notes, “The best part of the senior night game against Papio south was obviously winning, but also the environment and energy our team had throughout the entire match. We played together as a team and wanted to play for each other. That game we all put everything out on the court and that allowed us to beat Papio south.” This win was the perfect way to end the Class of 2019’s chapter of commanding Marian’s courts right here at home.
On Oct. 15, the Crusaders played another thrilling match against Ankeny Centennial at the Westside Invitational. Ankeny took the first set, Marian the second, Ankeny the third, and Marian the fourth. With the match tied 2-2, all Crusader fans were on the edge of their seats. While most teams at this point in such a close game would get tired and give up, Marian did just the opposite. With drive and perseverance, the Marian Crusaders took the final set and won the match 3-2.
After losing such talented players in the class of 2018, many were skeptical of the future for Marian’s volleyball program. However, this year’s team took the doubts of many and channelled them into their fierce playing and preparation. Montague said, “The seniors have always been great role models and have been amazing leaders for our team. They hold us accountable everyday and hold our team to a very high standard.”
This year’s seniors are a talented tribe, three of which are committed to play volleyball in college. Emily Bressman will be playing at Creighton University, Emma Hern at College of Saint Mary and Hailey Zuroske at University of Wyoming. Beyond collegiate athletics, the seven seniors are bound for greatness on and off the court, and they are leaving Marian Volleyball in the good hands of the team’s talented youth. Zuroske notes, “I am confident in leaving the team in the hands of the youth because they all have improved so much this year and I’m confident they will keep the Marian tradition alive.”