The David City volleyball team's season has concluded after a loss to Wahoo in the first round of the sub-district tournament on Oct. 29
The match lasted three sets with the Scouts losing 25-12, 25-13 and 25-12.
"I thought that the girls played very well at sub-districts," head coach Emily Maresh said in comments sent to the Banner-Press. "They could have easily laid down and played scared, but they gave it their best effort.
"Wahoo is a very talented team with many threats. We played with them at the start of each set, but they seemed to have a nice little run in each set as well. I was proud of our girls for never giving up."
Wahoo is ranked No.1 by the Lincoln Journal Star and will be a favorite to win a state title this year.
"The girls did a lot of film watching before the game," Maresh said. "They found some tendencies of Wahoo and worked to capitalize on those points of the game. As a coaching staff, we did not talk directly toward personnel on the team but rather what they do as a team."
David City finishes with a 13-17 record but made improvement throughout the season according its the head coach.
"I thought that our hitting consistency and connection with our hitters and setters improved throughout the season, and we served tough," Maresh said. "We progressively became a more scrappy team and our defense was a strength. We did not make the stride that I had hoped for in serve receive."
The Scouts had help and leadership from athletes at all levels of experience.
"There were a lot of girls that stepped into new roles this year," Maresh said. "First of all, Neely Behrns as a freshman really stepped up into a key role this year.
"Neely works very hard and did a great job in our system this year. We have all different types of leaders on our team from the vocal leader to the quiet leader.
"Macy Svoboda did a great job at motivating the team and keeping them pumped up. At times this was very hard to do, but she never gave in. Lauren Vandenberg really put things together this year and became a threat across the front row. Maya Coach was a bit of a surprise this year, although I do not think she has fully grown into her summer growth spurt yet. She was a spark to the team, she can really jump and she is starting to put everything together."
Seniors Svoboda, Olivia Bell, Allie Daro and Morgan Eickmeier have finished their high school volleyball career. Their graduation means replacing a six-rotation outside hitter, a libero, a defensive specialist and a right side hitter.
"These girls push themselves during practice and in the off season and were great motivators and examples for the other girls. The girls returning will have to continue to put work into their volleyball skills as well as becoming smarter volleyball players all around," Maresh said.
"To be successful next year we really need to work on our reaction time within serve receive as well as reading the court/players. We need to make sure we become a more consistent team in all aspects."
As hard as it will be to replace those four players on the court, it will be even harder to replace their contributions in leadership and work ethic.
"This team overcame a lot of adversity this year and I commend the seniors for their efforts in keeping this team together as one. It's amazing to look back at where they were their freshman year," Maresh said. "Each and every one of these four seniors have improved not only on the volleyball court but as young women in the world.
"All of these girls are willing to help with whatever and whenever and you do not see that in everyone, but these four are great examples of that."
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net