By Jack Ellis and Sydney Reiners
The Olympic motto "Citius, Altius, Fortius" has been adopted by a whole new group of athletes this fall: the Orono girl’s volleyball team. They plan to encompass the true meaning of the Latin phrase “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” into this years season.
To fulfill their goal of staying true to the Olympic motto, the teammates have been working and training hard at the 10 Dome in addition to their daily practices and matches. In the toughest parts of their intense training “Citius, Altius, Fortius” pulls the girls through.
“It’s a motivational thing,” varsity coach Laurie Jensen said. “We can run faster, we can get stronger and we can soar higher in everything we do.”
The four captains who help emphasize this year’s theme are seniors Jane McKown, Erin Briggs and Bailey Amstrup and junior Paige Broghammer.
“They (all) offer something different,” Jensen says about her leaders—who also serve as role models for the large number of girls in the volleyball program.
With more than 50 girls playing across four teams at the high school, it is a big undertaking.
“I’ve never been that loud of a person,” explains captain Paige Broghammer.
Broghammer is currently ranked No. 5 in kills and No. 6 in aces in the state of Minnesota.
McKown and Briggs also bring their individual leadership traits to the team. Coach Jensen says McKown provides the “comic relief," while Amstrup brings "the fight out in the team.”
Although expecting a small varsity team, the girls ended up with 13-player roster.
“There are a lot of players on the bench, but at the same time we have a lot of depth,” Broghammer said.
Out of the 13 girls, six are underclassmen—including starting libero Allison Broghammer and starting setter Rachel Heussner. Coach Jensen said playing the underclassmen was actually a “key to success” as she explained winning the championship at the Coon Rapids Tournament.
Orono played a tough Glencoe-Silver Lake team on Thursday, Sept. 20, and lost 1-3. The Spartans had a new defensive strategy to fix the problems that they had been having all season.
“We had practiced it for about an hour, but our defense was good,” Broghammer said. “I am so proud of how we adapted.”
Jensen added she was “pleased with our new defense and our passing, and after a couple of not-sop-stellar performances, we definitely on the upswing.”
Although this meant Orono lost their second conference game, Broghammer insisted the best was yet to come.
“If we can do this after practicing our new defense, watch out,” she said.
With a promising season ahead of them the girls set high goals of winning the Wright County Conference Championship for the first time.
“Our conference is incredibly tough, but that’s still our continued long-term goal,” Jensen said.
Jensen has set personal goals as well, saying she hopes to “get the girls to really get to that high level of competition.”
With their current winning record in conference (4-2) she wants to help them “understand that working hard (and) preparation are key, and that mistakes are made.”