Volleyball “grit” is ageless trait

October 24, 2022


Sophia Bietz

SERVES UP. Senior Solvej Eversoll leaps up to serve in GVV’s game against Breck on Sept. 16.

“Grit” is the word volleyball captains Riley Erben and Natalie Vogenthaler used to sum up the season.

After overcoming an unprecedented age gap between the younger and older members of the team, they rose to the challenge and ended the regular season with a respectable 6-8 record. Instead of taking the easy route and forming two separate groups, the team capitalized on activities around town and built a unique culture.

“At the beginning of the season, it was difficult to mend the gap, because the [age difference] was so large,” Erben said.

One frequent tradition they started was going to Baker’s Square after practices or games.

“We went there so often that most of the team had the entire menu memorized and all the servers knew our names,” Erben said.

“While this season brought adversity, the upper schoolers still prioritized the future of the volleyball program.ards the next play,” she said.

Mahoney learned a lot from her captains who pushed her to stay positive.

“Especially as a younger player, you’re going to have ups and downs, but you just have to look forward,” she said.

For Mahoney, one specific moment stood out. In one of the first games of the season, the team trailed 2-0 to South Saint Paul. “We came back to win 3-2. I think this helped us as a team on and off the court because a close game like that requires a lot of teamwork and patience,” she said.

Despite the age gap, the team built trust with one another and most importantly, they remained ‘gritty.’

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