Coach Modaff knew their season opener in Dassel-Cokato on Monday night would be a stiff test to open the season. Now she knows her team is up to the challenge.
Monticello traveled to take on the No. 10 team in Class AA and came away with a hard fought five-set victory to open their season.
Monticello took the opening set 27-25, then dropped two of the next three, before sealing the win with a 15-11 final set.
“I thought overall we did really well,” said Coach Beth Modaff. “I thought they really came together as a team.”
Squeaking out a win in the first set was important for morale, according to Modaff.
“Those close games can be tough to recover from,” she said.
Dassel bounced back to win the second set, 25-19, but Monticello took the third 25-22.
The game was back and forth early until Jamie Maus helped Monticello take control.
The senior recorded a run of five or six straight kills to guide the Magic to the 2-1 lead.
“She played very well, she was able to put the ball away,” said Modaff. “When we were in trouble, we could find her.”
Monticello dropped the fourth set 25-20, but bounced back quickly in the decisive fifth set.
“We kind of took control right away,” said Modaff. “[The girls] just worked really hard. That came into play in the fifth game.”
Maus certainly guided the way throughout the night. The senior totaled 31 kills, 16 more than anyone else in the game. Sara Macek helped balance out the attack, adding 15 kills for the Magic.
Laura Wurtinger was also key to the attack, assisting on 60 of the 61 kills.
“Laura played really well,” said Modaff. “She distributed the ball really well.”
In the serving department, Monticello was led by Hannah Wetter. Wetter served 23 times and earned five service aces, both game highs.
“They really struggled passing the ball when [Hannah] was serving,” said Modaff.
With Monticello facing sky high expectations this season, Modaff said it was important for them to get a big win under their belts early.
“They have big goals and dreams,” said Modaff. “But they’re coming to that point where they realize they don’t have to be dreams. They can be reality.”
The Magic hit the court again this Thursday when they play host to Rocori at 5:15 p.m. It is one of just two games that the Magic will play at home during the first three weeks of the season.
Contact Clay Sawatzke at firstname.lastname@example.org