When Jessica Metcalf arrived as Maconaquah’s varsity volleyball coach three seasons ago, she saw a Braves program with an exciting amount of untapped potential.
Maconaquah had volleyball success in recent memory with six Mid-Indiana Conference titles between 2000 and 2006 and sectional titles in ‘04 and ’06. But the years between that and Metcalf’s arrival left something to be desired.She observed a talent pool that was eager to improve and even hungrier to win. She’s used that desire to her advantage, and in just three seasons, has the Braves cemented as one of the area’s top programs.“We have a morale at Maconaquah,” Metcalf said. “Girls want to play because we win. We definitely want to continue building that morale and continue winning. Our young crowd is thrilled to come watch our games, and our [varsity and JV] girls feed off that. There’s a lot of excitement. [Junior varsity] coach [Katy] Parks and I see a lot of great things going on at the younger levels. We have a lot of volunteer coaches who come in and help. The girls just want to play.”The Braves enjoyed immediate success in Metcalf’s first season, going 23-9 and claiming an outright MIC championship before falling in a sectional final. The squad followed with a 19-14 campaign last season where it was able to navigate itself to a second straight MIC crown.
The Braves kept their hopes of a third straight outright MIC title alive Thursday night after fending off a late-charging Northwestern squad on the road in four sets, 25-12, 25-12, 23-25, 25-22.The Braves improved to 2-0 in league play.
Maconaquah was 10-3 overall at the close of last week. The Braves went 3-1 in the Rossville Invitational on Saturday, finishing as runners-up.
The Braves’ JV squad is also enjoying a strong season, going into last weekend with an undefeated record.