Maus reaches milestone; senior is first MHS volleyballer to 1000 kills

When  Jamie Maus put away another kill during Monticello’s third match of their Howard Lake Invitational tournament this weekend, it seemed to be just that, another kill.
For all of a couple seconds. Then the ref stopped the game, congratulations were given and the game ball was handed to Maus. A career-long goal had been realized, a historic milestone was accomplished.
Maus, a senior in her fourth year on varsity, recorded the 1,000 kill of her career in that Saturday afternoon match, becoming the first player in MHS history to reach the lofty milestone.
It was a day she spent years dreaming of, yet a moment that arrived as a surprise.
“It was always one of my goals since my freshman year to get [1,000],” said Maus. “For basketball they always do it, so I was like I want to be one of the first ones for volleyball to get it.”
“I had an estimate of where I was, but I wasn’t keeping track each game,” added Maus. “When it happened I was super surprised.”
She says a few of the 1,000 stick out, particularly a couple of important kills her freshman year in a five-set match against Annandale, as well as some moments from her career-high 38 kill game against Bemidji in sections last year.
When Coach Beth Modaff remembers back to Maus joining the team as a freshman in 2010, she recalls knowing then that they had a special talent on their hands.
“We saw a lot of potential, we saw a lot of fearlessness,” said Modaff. “You could just give her the ball and she was confident she could do something with it, all the way back then. We knew she had the potential to do great things.”
Maus has changed, and grown, in a lot of areas. She’s gotten stronger, her all-around game has continued to improve and she’s grown as a leader as she moved from the talented freshman to the star senior.
But that fearlessness and that calming presence in big moments has never swayed, and has played a major role in not just getting Maus to 1,000 kills, but also getting her team to a whole lot of wins.
Another long held strength that Modaff credits for a lot of Maus’ success is dedication.
Maus says she first fell in love with volleyball as a child, when she’d follow her dad around to his summer leagues at Mama G’s in Maple Grove. The love continued to grow, as she played in the backyard with her parents and sisters, and started playing organized volleyball in fourth grade.
But it was around seventh grade when she really became dedicated, joining a traveling AAU program that played nine months out of the year.
“That’s when I kind of knew, if I’m doing this, I’m doing this, there is no going back,” said Maus.
As just a middle school student, she knew she would be sacrificing free time, but to do it for a sport she loved seemed like the right decision.
That dedication has never left. Maus spent the summer organizing daily captain’s practices for her teammates as well as weekend tournaments.
“She just works hard all the time,” said Modaff.
And the decision to dedicate her time to volleyball has paid off. Maus has grown into one of the top volleyball players in the area, and her prowess extends well beyond earning kills. She’s also one of the top servers and defenders on the Magic squad.
“A lot of times those big kill leaders are three rotation front row players, said Modaff. “But she has a dynamic all-around game.”
Perhaps most impressive about Maus, according to Modaff, is her humbleness. It’s never about her, always about the team.
That’s evident when Maus quickly gives credit to her teammates, past and present, including current setter Laura Wurtinger.
“I couldn’t have done it without them,” said Maus.
With this goal down, she has a few others in mind. The senior wants to top her single game high of 38, and she wants to finish this season with more single season kills than she had last year (381).
But there is one other obstacle, one that she definitely won’t be able to accomplish without her teammates help, and one that’s a lot more important to her than the one she just bypassed.
I want to go to state,” said Maus. “That’s the big one. That would definitely trump this, no matter what. I’d love to be the first team to make it to state for volleyball.”
The Magic are honoring Maus with a short ceremony before tonight’s game against St. Francis. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the high school.