Volleyball: Garrison Troopers make history as they prepare for the state tournament

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It was history in the making, then it was history in the waiting.

The Garrison Troopers volleyball team’s dream was cut short last season because of covid.

They say winning region five this year was well worth the wait.

“It’s been a whirlwind this year!” said Tina Irish, head coach.

Getting to play at the state stage came with a lot of trial and error.

Irish said she worked on putting the girls in the right rotation on the court.

“With us being such a close-knit group with us more than any other your past we were okay with trying out anything,” said Karli Klein, middle hitter.

“Our first week of practice I could see we had a state-ready team. It’s just getting them to believe they were that team. Once they gained confidence they just got stronger and stronger believing, and believing and believing that they were the team that could do it,” Irish said.

They say taking it one point at a time helped to keep all of the ladies on track when the stakes were high.

“When we won that region game we were also excited because it was the first time Garrison ever made it to state it was amazing,” Klein said.

“It was really exciting! We’re all really excited for it it was a big achievement that we made! We’ve been looking forward all season,” said Madelin Hurt, outside hitter.

With the region tournament in their rearview mirror, they’re fine-tuning the kinks ahead of their state matchup against Northern Cass.

Like defense, coverage and serving.

“We’re preparing more for more of a rally than just one or two times over you have to expect more than that longer rallies. You have to be patient so kind of mental aspect of it will be different than any game we played so far and the physical level will be a lot more tough on our bodies we just have to keep pushing,” said Klein.

And of course, working on staying calm.

“We have some servers who get nervous when they get to the line we’ve been kind of putting people on the spot as we’re serving because that’s what happens during a competitive game if it looks easy to everybody else until you’re being watched when you’re up to that one it’s like the gym stops when you serve and that’s what gets in our girls head. Everyone on my team is a very good server they just kind of get nervous when they get to the line so we’ve been kind of knocking on getting that nerves out,” said Irish.

They say having a lot of energy on the court, and from the bench, is going to go along way when the pressure is on.

“It’s amazing because I remember like four years ago we had our old head coach and playing with my sister we always had a goal to go state. We were always something to work for but we just kept falling short every year. And I think for sure one of the things we were missing was the team chemistry we all like each other we are going along but it wasn’t as good as it is now,” said Klein.

“I am super, super proud of the humbleness of these athletes and also their care to take girls that are new under their wing and just be really good to them. I think that’s huge when you have a good heart,” said Irish.

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