By J1 Reporter Clara Neary
Marian volleyball is the epitome of high school sports. Almost every Marian girl is thrilled when state season comes around. Getting out of class to cheer on their Crusaders is what everyone loves. It’s the possibility of a state championship that gets adrenaline flowing. State gets everyone on their toes, especially the varsity volleyball team.
On Nov. 8, Marian played against Papillion-LaVista in the first state game at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. Marian won three sets, only getting beat in the second set. They fought till the end and ultimately defeated the Monarchs in four sets.
The team consisted of 15 girls. Marian lost eight powerhouse seniors last year, so there were a lot of newbies added to the team. Meredith Mueller, a junior rightside hitter, is one. She was on JV last year and swung for varsity. Now this year, she is playing for the team. Even though it was her first state game, she wasn’t very nervous. “I was more so excited rather than being nervous, but I will say that I had a few butterflies when we were on the court warming up.”
Connections is a big thing among the teammates. Some hitters don’t have a very good connection with their setters, but that wasn’t the case for her and Sarah Montague. “We have barely worked together with setter/ hitter connections and everything she was setting was working really well,” Mueller said. She had six kills and three blocks in the first match against Papillion-LaVista.
State is not just about the team, but the student section, too. The students take time out of their day to go and cheer on the Crusaders. The theme for the first game was wild west, along with Papillion-LaVista also being western themed.
Senior Lizzie Byrne was a prominent leader in the section. “The size of the student section was really good, like it was unusually large, especially for a first round game,” Byrne said. Byrne also mentioned that Marian’s student section for the first match was one of the biggest student sections Marian has ever had. What comes with big, comes difficulty. “We could work on staying together in our cheers, but that comes with the size. People at the top were off from the people at the bottom,” Byrne said. The section is split up by grade, with at least six or more rows per grade. She helped communicate between everyone by shouting each of the cheers and the lyrics.
The student section also helped pump up the team. “I think the student section was the best I have ever seen and it was really helpful,” Mueller said. Marian also likes to engage in chants with the opposing school. “We got spirit” is one of the big ones. It went on for a few minutes until Papio got a point and didn’t return the chant. Marian won the spirit chant fight. The students also work hard to get the sportsmanship award. The award goes to the school with the best sportsmanship. Marian has won it for the past few years.
State volleyball is a time for everyone to be energetic. Whether it’s at Marian or a different school, everyone has school spirit. Marian got knocked out of the state tournament by being defeated by Pius X. Nevertheless, Marian will always have a support system to back them up, win or lose.