Volleyball rebuild year plays role in future success

Jack Taverna, SNO Sports Center and Social Media Editor

Last year, the volleyball team advanced to State. Since then, six starting seniors graduated.  This has created a rebuilding year with younger players taking on new roles. 

“This group has been determined and it has been fun to see the new seniors grow into their new roles as leaders,” team manager junior Molli Cox said.

The team had a tough couple of games in the beginning of the season. As of now, the team is starting to win a few games.

Senior caption Maddie Oeltejen explained how she thought the beginning of the season was a little bit rough, but she thinks that the team is starting to find their groove. 

This year’s team has a young core, therefore it is believed that future teams will perform well.

“They are starting to get a lot more playing time and they have more opportunities to play more matches. Younger players are dedicated to the sport and I think that the future of the volleyball team is great,” junior Savannah Vincent Cox said. 

Last year, the team was successful. In fact, they were so successful that they were able to place fourth in last year’s State tournament.

“The environment of state is super fun and cool. It makes it so much more competitive and a bit more higher stakes,” Oeltejen added. 

The captains have to play their role on and off the court, therefore they have more responsibilities than the average player.

We practice every day. We just make sure that we are always giving it our all and just always trying our hardest to get better

— Maria Vincent

Oeltejen explained the main responsibilities of taking the role of team captain is “keeping the team in check, making sure that we are staying competitive and staying a good team. And also just extra responsibilities, like the t-shirts to throw out and scheduling volunteers.”

This year, the team had a rough start to the season. Despite this, they are doing everything they can do to have the same success as last year, or maybe more. 

“We practice every day. We just make sure that we are always giving it our all and just always trying our hardest to get better,” Vincent added. 

The volleyball teams in the past have had a lot of success. Because of this, new players are pushing themselves to get better so they can have the same achievements.

“I think Stillwater’s success over the past years have motivated a lot of the younger players to work hard and to be dedicated to the sport,” Cox said. 

Cox had a lot of enthusiasm about this year’s team. “I think that the team is doing great. There are a lot of new players this year and I think they are starting to win and play together.  It is really fun to watch them. They are very encouraging of each other,” she added.