Skill may get you to the top, but your character will determine if you stay there. The Maverick volleyball team (8-0) showcased their team’s character Saturday (8/31) at the Plymouth PowerBall Invitational, going undefeated vs some of the state’s top programs. It was an early 6 AM start for the 9th-ranked Lady Mavs, with a two-hour bus trip up north to the home town of McCutcheon’s own Mr. Beeker.
First up in pool play for the Mavs was the perennial powerhouse, (#11) Penn Kingsmen. The Mavs defeated the Kingsmen, winning 2 of the 3 sets in the shortened 3-set tournament format. The stat sheet read as such:
Penn 23 25 9 Kills: Humprhey, Chicoine (14) Blks: Bonilla (2) Digs: Brown (12)
McCutcheon 25 21 15 Assists: Cornell (30) Serves Received: Leonard (11)
Next up was a match with Alexandria-Monroe. The Mavs won in straight sets behind a season-best 56-Kill %:
Alex-Monroe 9 14 Kills: Chicoine, Bonilla (7) Digs: Burns (8)
McCutcheon 25 25 Assists: Cornell (19) Serves Received: Crowder (4)
Finishing pool play, in the tournament’s toughest bracket, the Mavs had to face-off with 4A Valparaiso Vikings. The Lady Mavs jumped out early and used their own brand of PowerBall to beat Valpo in straight sets and earn a spot in the championship match.
Valparaiso 15 18 Kills: Chicoine (13) Blks: Phillips, Bonilla, Humphrey (2) Digs: Brown (8)
McCutcheon 25 25 Assists: Cornell (19) Serves Received: Chicoine (14)
The match-up that most volleyball fans were hoping to see ended up coming to fruition. The 9th-ranked 4A Mavericks vs the #1-ranked 3A Muncie-Burris Owls. The Owls are again coached by Hall of Famer, Steve Shondell. Shondell has amassed 21-State Championships as coach of the Owls and has an overall record of 1,183 – 95 (.926) over his illustrious 34-year career. Would the pedigree of the Owl’s program intimidate the Lady Mavs? Not on this day, as the Mavs overcame a 1st set loss and battled point-for-point in a narrow 2nd set win. The last set flashed plenty of power after the long day of volleyball with a team total of 27 kills and 5 aces.
Muncie-Burris 25 25 9 Kills: Humprhey, Chicoine (12) Blks: Bonilla (3) Digs: Leonard (12)
McCutcheon 18 27 15 Assists: Cornell (26) Serves Received: Chicoine (24)
The Lady Mavs will be enjoying the rest of the Labor Day weekend after their clean sweep in Plymouth. Next, for the Mavs, are a series of local rivalries. Starting Tuesday (9/3) the Lady Mavs are @ West Lafayette; 6 PM JV start. Wednesday (9/4) the Mavs host their first home match vs Clinton Prairie; 5:30 PM JV start. Thursday (9/5) then brings NCC rival Lafayette Jeff into Resler Gymnasium for what proves to be a hyped up match vs the Bronchos; 5:30 PM Frosh & JV start.