By John Ring
Published in The Burg October 7, 2021
You can play the game of volleyball with six players. It’s legal, within the rules and possible. But it’s not recommended or promoted. It’s a challenge to win a volleyball game, especially at the high school level against good competition.
The Silver Streaks found that out the hard way by actually having to do it during this 2021 season for five games. And that comes on the heel of the “abbreviated” 2020 season played last spring.
It’s been a tough year.
“Last year was hardly a season,” said senior Abby Endthoff. “This year, we got almost shut down because we were down to six players. We only had six girls. We had no passers. I play front row middle and there I was in the back row passing.”
Endthoff is a good athlete; A senior, she plays both volleyball and basketball. More than that, she’s a scrapper. A fighter. “Our team has been through so much this year,” she said. “One thing we don’t do is quit. We won’t let a game go without a fight. We played with six players for five games. We’ve had to fight back all season. Our team fights. Coach [Marla] Clay is a fighter.”
“We make a good hit and build on it,” said Endthoff after the loss to Geneseo. “We’re good on building things and we need more of that, to keep building and building. We started off this season really good. We have good team chemistry. We like each other. Then we just played six girls and I was one of the six. The others, it’s hard to come back after not practicing or playing for two weeks. We also didn’t practice at all as a team because of it.”
All of those factors have combined to make for a tough season, one that has been full of challenges for the Silver Streaks. Think about it-- limited players, limited or no practices, back in the Fieldhouse and playing good teams in a good Conference night in and night out.
“We started to get depressed,” continued Abby “We were down but then we turned things around and played a strong game against Sterling. We did tonight against Geneseo. We’ve got one last hurdle to overcome and we have the rest of October and we can get it done.”
It hasn’t exactly been a storybook ending for Endthoff’s solid Silver Streak career or the other seniors on this team. Their junior season was a wash. This one came ever-so-close to ending and they still haven’t played one single varsity game in John Thiel Gym because of the reconstruction of the high school.
“The atmosphere is so much better at Thiel,” said Abby. “You can tell the difference. Tonight, we had a student section right behind us and you could tell they were there. It was much better.”
“We want to play at Thiel. I love Thiel. It’s our Gym.”
Hopefully, that will be next week. The Streaks finally got their new uniforms (there was a delay in getting them, too) and a return engagement at Thiel Gym would be a fitting way to end the season with a few “W”s as well.