Metea Valley notches record-setting 30th win of season
Regan Holmer remembers rebuilding the Metea Valley program as a freshman so that she could be a part of something truly special by the time she was a senior.
It's hard to top breaking the school record for wins in a season, but it's exactly what the Mustangs accomplished during Wednesday's nonconference match at Geneva, sweeping the Vikings, 25-15, 25-21.
The victory was No. 30 for the Mustangs, surpassing the mark set by the 2016 squad.
"Having broken a record like that in a program that (fellow senior) Morgan (Rank) and I have been rebuilding for the last 3-4 years since we were brought up freshman year shows the hard work is really paying off," Holmer said. "We all have the same goals and we knew going into this season we were going to have a strong squad, but we couldn't come in cocky, we had to work hard, maybe even harder than ever before."
Geneva (6-20) did not roll over, competing at a level not indicative of its record.
"We were talking about (Kira Hutson) and she's going to get her kills, but when we put our effort in and know what we're doing, like in the end of the second set, we were getting all kinds of balls and staying right with them," Geneva senior Madi Danielson said. "We knew this would be a good game and when we know we're playing a good team it puts us in a different state of mind going after every single ball. I felt like we had that drive tonight."
The Vikings only trailed 22-20 in the second set, punishing the Mustangs with four aces, but two late errors thwarted their bid to force a third set.
"We've gone up against some similar teams but Metea is a great team overall," Geneva freshman Sam Vanda said. "I don't know how to describe it, but they work well together and can put a ball down."
They also can pick each other up, like when senior Tyeler Mattox's name was called.
"She came in and set a great block on the outside and got a couple of touches tonight," Mustangs coach Dave MacDonald said. "It just shows the competitiveness and the team aspect of these girls. It's the next person up mentality, which I love. They're all great."
He certainly would've liked to get some others additional playing time, but Geneva's refusal to back down made that difficult.
"Geneva was great tonight in the second set in keeping it close with us," MacDonald said. "They kept balls alive on the defensive side and I couldn't get some people I wanted to get in after the first set, but it's a testament to them for coming back. They're a young team, but they gave us a run for the money tonight."
The Mustangs have their third match in as many days on Thursday as they battle Neuqua Valley in a big DuPage Valley battle that's also a Dig Pink match. Wildcats coach Kelly Simon is a breast cancer survivor.
"I love hosting it and Kelly is a dear friend and a mentor of mine so it's going to be a fun match," MacDonald said. "And it's going to be a heated conference match. They have three losses, we have none and (Naperville) North has one and then we play North next Tuesday to kind of decide where we're going to be in conference."