ALTON – If you had to describe the Marquette Catholic High School girls volleyball team in just one word, it would be depth. After graduating 10 seniors last year, the team has completely transformed.

“We start the development early,” varsity volleyball head coach Sue Heinz said.

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It certainly helps that they have a huge class of 16 freshman players entering the sport.

Heinz says that ever since she’s been coaching at Marquette the numbers have always been good.

She credits that to not being much competition with other sports for girls in the fall. She mentioned that there is tennis, cross-country, and golf. She said that for the girls who want to play more of a team sport, they choose volleyball.

Whatever the case may be, the program is able to put together three full teams for freshman, JV, and varsity. That’s some serious depth and will make sure the program continues to be successful even into the future.

Currently, the varsity team is having great success in the regular season but hasn’t seemed to quite figure it out once they enter the playoffs.

Last season, the Explorers boasted an impressive record of 24-9-2 and entered the post-season as the No. 2 seed giving them a bye straight into the regional semifinals. They met up against No. 8 Litchfield and came up short of achieving their goal.

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“We always try to go for at least 20-plus,” Heinz said. But that’s not the most important goal for her or the team.

“Obviously, our goal is to win regionals. We’ve only had one in the history of the school. That’s always our long-term goal at the end of the season.”

The squad was dealing with some injuries heading into the post-season, so Heinz was forced to run with some lineups that they had never worked with she said, saying that they were “caught off guard.”

She gave credit to Litchfield’s hitter saying that she was on and just unstoppable.

That’s behind them now. It’s time to regroup and get back after it.

They open their season on Monday, August 22nd in the Roxana Tournament when the Explorers take on Jerseyville at 5 p.m.

“Well, you always go in hoping you win the whole thing,” Heinz said about the tournament. “It’s always alluded us.”

“But what I love about that tournament is that early on, you see what is going to work, you run a different lineup here and there, and try and figure out where you’re going to go the rest of the season.”

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