The future of Lady Arrow Volleyball starts at Clinton Junior High School, and after the work put in this year, the future looks bright.
“Over half of the team had never played volleyball before this year,” said first-year coach Taylor Mraz.
Her team, she said, did not have a firm grasp of foundational skills at the start of the season but added that this did not stop her seventh and eighth graders from excelling in the sport.
“With hard work and determination, they improved each and every day,” she added. “They not only grew as individuals but they learned how to play together as one team.”
Mraz pointed out her team was willing to put in the work and pay attention to her instruction. “I constantly told the girls that there are two things you can always control in any sport you play, and that is communication and effort. If you focus on these two things every time you step on the court, then everything else will fall into place.”
And this year, things certainly fell into place. The seventh grade Lady Arrows went 4-5 on the season, and the eighth grade Lady Arrows went 6-3 in regular season play and 2-1 in the Little Six Tournament.
The Lady Arrows entered the tournament as a 5-seed and defeated Germantown in three-straight games.
With the win, the Lady Arrows faced top-ranked Brandon who had already defeated the Lady Arrows in the regular season.
“We were a little nervous when we found out we had to play them,” Mraz said, “but after we practiced, I felt really confident. When game time came, our girls showed up to play, and it was the best match they played all season.”
The Lady Arrows won a spot in the tournament final, facing Madison. Mraz said her team showed some nerves in the first game but then played well in the second set. “After losign the first set, it was like someone lit a fire under them.”
The Lady Arrows were tied at one game apiece with Madison, but could not pull off the win, placing second place in the tournament.
“Even though losing to our rival was hard,” Mraz said, “I couldn’t ask for a better season from this team. It was a complete joy to coach this group of girls, and I’m proud of how far they have come since the beginning.”