MARYVILLE, Mo. — Northwest volleyball has been close to establishing themselves as a top team in the MIAA, but couldn't quite break through. In 2018, the Bearcats will try to make it to the top with a new mental edge.
2015 saw the Bearcats get to the final third of the season, knocking on the door of a higher seed in the MIAA tournament. The team lost six straight to end the year.
In 2016, the 'Cats shot out to a 15-0 start to the season, but crawled to the finish line going just 7-9.
Last season, the team competed well throughout the year but finished in the middle of the pack.
"I think our upperclassman have seen some storms and their experience and how to lead our team through it," head coach Amy Woerth said. "This team is more collectively hungry, because we've learned from those lessons."
Senior Sofia Schleppenbach had a front row view of the teams struggles to finish in the past. She believes this year's team is different.
"I would definitely say this is probably just in general overall the most mentally tough team that I've been a part of," Schleppenbach said. "The ability that we have to get on each other and hold each other accountable for what we need to do but at the same time have someone come in and help."
The 'Cats have a chance to show off that new mental edge this weekend, hosting Fort Hays 6 p.m. Friday and no. 4 Nebraska Kearney 6:30 p.m. Saturday.