Mason High School’s volleyball team has won five league titles in a row and a regional title in 2014. The team has proven to be successful year after year and their success has brought their community closer together.
Autumn Kissman, a senior captain for the team said, “Our coach cares a lot about our team. I believe we have been so successful because anytime year round, our coach always has us doing something like jump training in the winter.”
Kissman said, “Our practices have been more intense than last year and when we get in the gym it’s a lot more grinding and pushing each other because we lost so many seniors last year. A realistic goal is to win leagues again after all these years of winning that title and to try to win districts if we continue to keep working as hard as we have this year.”
Another senior captain, Bailey Cantrell, said “Our coach puts a lot of effort into us. We all wear the same practice shirts every day of the week and varsity is always teaching underclassmen just the rules of the gym and our culture. All three teams practice together: freshman, junior varsity, and varsity. I think this has played a big part in why we have been successful for so long.”
Cantrell said, “Since we had such good seniors leave, they knew all the ropes of the game. Last year we worked a lot on being a team and this year we’ve been working on the basics of volleyball since we have a lot of young girls on the team.”
When asked if she felt supported by the community, Cantrell said, “I do feel supported from the school and the community. At a lot of home games we have one of the biggest student sections come out and we always have lots of kids here as well as teachers. Our students even show up at our away games.”
Cantrell said, “The school supports us a lot as well as the athletic office and the director. Autumn’s dad actually donates big signs to our team because he owns a publishing company and I know coach really appreciates them.”
Kissman said, “Our team’s success has brought our community closer together. At school, people will come up to me asking how we’re doing, if we won last night, and if we’re having fun. Athlete or not, Mason has come together more because they care.”
Greg Lattig, athletic director at Mason High School said, “Our volleyball team has worked really, really hard and put work into the program which has led to their success and support from many groups. It’s fun to watch them grow, develop and succeed on the court.”
He said, “Our volleyball sections is one of our better ones. We get a good turn out and they are very active and positive. They’ve advanced far in the tournament so they get good support from the community and the student body.”
“Anytime you have success it gives you confidence and it gives you a chance to travel and develop a good reputation across the state. Hopefully our girls are representing the community well as they wear Mason on their shirts. If they do well, you know they go to tournaments all over the state, so I hope they are making Mason proud,” Lattig concluded.
The coach is former MSU volleyball player Elisa Zwick. She started coaching the team in 1997. “I applied after the last coach decided to resign and I got the job. I’ve been here ever since and I’ve coached amazing girls throughout the years.”
Zwick said, “If I teach it well, my kids will teach it well. The seniors I had last year had a great impact on these kids, but we really do not try to focus on what we were last year. The focus has been more what are we going to do this year.”
“I believe we’re supported by the community. When we won regionals here in 2014, it was packed. We had both bleachers out and there was a lot of people. A lot of alumni parents come back as well as old alumni players,” said Zwick.
Zwick concluded, “It’s not just about whether we win or lose, it’s about how hard are you going to work, how willing you are to try new things, what kind of teammate are you going to be. Are you going to be a good kid? Are you going to do everything you can to not just make yourself better, but make others better? As people, that’s the ultimate thing you’re trying to do and I think that’s why the community supports us.”