by James Howey
Cavalier volleyball will be playing to return to nationals tomorrow when they host district play. The number-one seeded squad will be playing Neosho County at 9 a.m., whom they beat 3–0 earlier in the season. With a win in that match, they will be playing the winner of Fort Scott and Highland at 11 a.m. The Cavs swept both Fort Scott and Highland in the regular season. Despite those results, Anna Bell, Cavs volleyball player, knows that anyone the Cavs play this weekend will be out to knock them off.
“Everyone’s out to get us. We’re that team that everyone wants to beat,” Bell said. “If we just come out strong and play like we’ve been playing all season, we should take it.”
Highland and Fort Scott are both solid squads, and head coach Jennifer Ei thinks it will be a nice match to watch and will present a good challenge that the Cavs will be ready for.
“I think it’s going to be a battle,” Ei said. “It’s not like I have a favorite as to who I want to play. I think both of them will be a tad different in how we approach things.”
The squad went through a few weeks where they were off their game suffering with injuries and inconsistent play. The Cavs had a huge win that ended Cowley’s 76-game winning streak on their home court and won the conference. Bell thinks that stretch ended up helping the Cavs in the long run of the season.
“I think it helped us open our eyes to realize that we can be beat and sometimes we’ll play not to lose instead of to win,” Bell said.
Maren Mair, who has been dealing with an ankle injury the last half of the season, played one set in the squad’s scrimmage last night with Ottawa University and played well. Coach Ei is hopeful she will be ready to go tomorrow for the Cavs’ nationals shot.
“You might see her back on Saturday,” Ei said.
Bell was on the team two years ago when they took third at nationals, and left last year to go to school at Pittsburgh State. After a year off, she says that a trip back to nationals would be so special.
“It would mean so much more honestly,” Bell said. “I realized that you only get to play for so long, and if you have the chance to go somewhere, why not take every bit of it? And this team is so close to each other, and I love every one of them, and I think we deserve it.”