Junior Serena Sundell and senior Brooke Katen attempt to block a spike from a East Buchanan player during their home opener, Sept. 3.

MARYVILLE, Mo. — The Maryville High School volleyball team was able to collect a win in the first game in the coach Miranda Foster era.

Foster and company opened up their season with a 25-11, 25-23, 25-19, sweep against East Buchanan in front of a packed Hound Pound, Tuesday evening.

“I was excited and I feel like we had a really good crowd,” Foster said. “They get jacked. They have awesome personalities and have a lot of fun in the stands. I do want to teach them more cheers that are specific to volleyball just so that energy can be sustained throughout the game.”

Going into the game, Maryville agreed to play a best of a five-set match against the Bulldogs. Although MSHSAA rules state teams play best of three series, conferences — like the Tri-Rivers Conference — play best of five. With the MEC being one of the only conferences without this rule and MSHSAA implementing it in full next season, Foster agreed.

“I figured, more sets, more data, more girls in was better for everyone,” Foster said.

Senior outside hitter Molly Renshaw said she and the team were anxious for the first game of the season, but it quickly went away after the first serve.

“I think so, but I get nervous for every game,” Renshaw said. “Going into our senior year, we know that this is our last chance to go out and play with all our friends, yeah, (there were added nerves). But it was fun and we did well. I think once you get in it, it calms your nerves.”

Nerves aside, the Spoofhounds' ability to gain a victory via a sweep was encouraging for Foster. She said her message to the team after the game was to always be on the attack.

“Just maintaining our side even when we feel secure,” Foster said. “So, it’s really easy to let up and let the other team have some hope and gain momentum if we don’t do the little things right on our side. So that’s what I've charged the girls with. Staying focused through every single point.”

In Renshaw’s four years she has seen the program adapt to three new coaches. She said Foster has helped implement a new culture and make the girls the best they can be.

“It feels good,” Renshaw said. “We’ve had a lot of different coaches. We’ve had almost a new one each year and (Foster) has really just pushed us and I feel like this is our best year. Starting with a good clean sweep sets the standard for the rest of the year”

Maryville will look to go 2-0 for the eighth straight year as the Hounds hit the road to play South Harrison, Sept. 5.

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