Senior experience, teammate familiarity will propel MFL MarMac volleyball team

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Members of MFL MarMac’s varsity volleyball team include (front, left to right) Miranda Lang, Lakota Morrissey, RoseMary McGeough, Megan Lang, Dika Putri; (middle) Aleyna Rodriguez, Lexy Johnson, Zoee Gerndt, Mackenzy Ruff, Rachel Davis, Anna Stoddard; (back) manager Saysha Schoulte, Riley Moreland, Brinan Berger and Bailey Winter. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The MFL MarMac volleyball team will rely on four returning seniors to propel its success this season.

“They have seen three years of varsity and are used to playing with each other,” said head coach Kelly Winter of the core group, which includes Bailey Winter, Brinan Berger, RoseMary McGeough and Rachel Davis. “These seniors have played enough volleyball together to know each other’s tendencies, and that is going to help us in close games. They just all mesh together and are not selfish about how we get the win, as long as we get it.”

Berger and Winter, who are both outside hitters, know how to put the ball away on the strong side, their coach noted. They also complement one another well.

“Brinan is a smart hitter and finds the openings, whereas Bailey brings the power,” Winter explained.

 McGeough and Davis will fill key roles through their versatility.

“They can hit, block and set the ball if we need them to,” said Winter.

Several younger athletes will play a big part too. Winter said sophomores Riley Moreland and Miranda Lang should factor into the starting line-up.

“Riley started for us last year and knows what it takes to play under pressure. She will help us all around,” Winter stated. “Miranda will be in her first year of varsity and is going to help us as a back row specialist.”

Juniors Aleyna Rodriguez and Anna Stoddard will help in the front row, she added.

Throughout the season, Winter said the players will continue to work on talking more with every play they make.

“We need to be able to pick up points based on our opponents’ miscommunication and not our own,” she stressed.

Winter is confident, though, that her players know what it takes to win.

“And not only pull out a win,” she quipped, “but under pressure and in close games.”  

The team has already accomplished one big goal this season, in the return of junior Lexy Johnson, who had surgery to remove a brain tumor over the summer.

“Not that it was ever spoken out loud as a team, but it was definitely a goal to get Lexy Johnson back to school and sports—healthy and full of her zest for life,” Winter shared. “My other goals for the season are to enjoy this special group of girls and make it their best season yet. Of course, I have many other goals, but I don’t like to look too far beyond our first game.”

The Bulldogs kicked off their season last week. Their home opener is this Thursday, Sept. 5, against West Central.

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