Gothenburg seniors set a new volleyball standard
Reaching new heights
Last season the Gothenburg volleyball team finished with a 27-5 record, the best in school history.
This season, the Swedes-—led by a core of seniors and a junior— again, recorded the most wins in school history while marking 31 new spots on the all-time top 10 with six school records.
The new standard was set with 27 wins this fall.
“The varsity had a goal of beating the school record from last year and they did that,” head coach Mary Clark said.
Gothenburg also accomplished a change of mindset that hasn’t been in the program the last few years, Clark said.
“This season we had the mentality that we were going to win no matter who the girls were playing,” Clark said. “It wasn’t arrogance. It was confidence in the girls’ skills and their teammates skills.”
Much of that confidence came from the upperclassman who experienced the success from last season but Clark said she felt the success of the program would depend heavily on underclassmen.
Kim Whiting, Mady Vogel, Madi Gilg, Blaire Gibbons, Sara Brown and McKenna Peterson played key roles in complementing the four returners with experience.
“We had those four with experience but you have to have six players on the court, and each one of them did their job,” Clark said.
While on its historic run, Gothenburg managed to piece together an 18-game win streak that including the team’s first-ever win over Ogallala, after winning the Hershey, North Platte Community College and Gothenburg Invites.
That streak was a reflection of the hard work the girls put in each day.
“Their work ethic in practice was always good and you could tell they had a desire to play their best,” Clark said. “Aside from our last game, I feel our team continued to improve and push themselves to be better.”
Gothenburg loses three seniors on a team that finished the season ranked No. 7 by the Omaha-World Herald.
Mroczek earned five new spots in the all-time top 10, including the No. 1 position in serve attempts, serves made and good serve receives.
Teammate, Regan Geiken earned nine new spots including third in good serve receives, fourth in serve attempts and fifth in kills.
Fellow senior Aryn Meisinger owns the No. 1 position in aces with 67 and set assists with 544. Meisinger is second all-time in good sets with 1,336 and serve attempts at 343.
“I am sure we will see those seniors continue playing in college and that is exciting for them,” Clark said.
With the absence of those three girls, there are some girls coming up into the program that Clark feels could make an impact on the team.
Junior Tiani Reeves was the strongest attacker on the team.
She sits at No. 2 all-time in season hit attempts with 757. Reeves finished with nine new spots, including No. 1 kill percentage at .350 and No.2 in good hits with 654.
“The underclassman have experience and confidence from this season,” Clark said. “Younger girls coming up have a chance to contribute to next year’s team.
Winning volleyball games in a Swede uniform wasn’t all that mattered to the team, Clark said.
In fact, she viewed sportsmanship equally as important as talent.
“We tried to stress having a good representation of yourself and the program,” Clark said. “How did those in the community perceive you? Showing gratitude to those who came to the games.”
The girls did that very well, she said. They realized how much their parents did for them.
“This is a great group of kids, not just athletes,” Clark said. “They are good people and should be proud of their character.”
In the words of Clark, it was a privilege for her to coach this team.
“What a group of fun girls,” Clark said. “You can’t ask for better kids.”