By Luke Winstel
For The Crier
In 2018, the St. Pius X volleyball team seized the second state title in program history. Maggie McCurdy, a key returning senior, will be stepping into a leadership position for the Golden Lions. We asked her a few questions about last year’s title run and the upcoming season.
Q: How would you describe your experience during last year’s playoff run, ending with the 4A title?
A: “All of the games leading up to the championship were super intense. After each win we got more excited, especially when we heard we would be playing Marist. I had a lot of fun with my team in the playoffs, but it was also very scary. We faced some really tough opponents, and the wins were very rewarding.”
Q: What thoughts were going through your head when you lifted the state championship trophy with your teammates?
A: “It was amazing. We had worked so hard to get to that moment and I was so happy. All of my nerves from the game, especially from the last few points, went away and it felt so good to hold up that trophy.“
Q: What was it like playing Marist in a championship game in front of a great crowd?
A: “It was actually very scary. I usually like to play in front of a crowd, I think it makes me play better. This crowd made me nervous. I was happy to see all of the St. Pius fans there, but there were also a ton of Marist fans. Most of us were hoping we would get to play Marist in the championship because they are our biggest rivals and we knew the crowd would be insane.”
Q: How did the team integrate so many freshman and underclassmen onto the team so quickly last year?
A: “We had such an amazing group of seniors last year. They were very inclusive and encouraging. They were some of my closest friends and the nicest people ever, so the underclassmen were not nervous to join the team.”
Q: Heading into this season, how would you describe the “vibe” or feeling around the team, as offseason preparations continue?
A: “I am really excited for this year. I feel like we can be just as close of a family as we were last year, and being a family got us to the championship.”
Q: What is the biggest change or difference from last year’s team to this year’s team?
A: “We haven’t had tryouts yet, but I think the upcoming underclassmen have a lot of talent. One of the biggest changes is that this year there will be fewer seniors, and we will be a young team. I am hoping the few of us can step up and take big leadership roles to push the team forward.”
Q: What is the team’s biggest strength at this point in the year?
A: “Right now, we have a very strong foundation for new players to join and build upon.
The team from last year is still very connected, and I know the new players will be connected as well.”
Q: What is the biggest thing that the team has been working on in the summer?
A: “So far this summer, we have been lifting weights and practicing our skills at open gyms. Soon, we will have team camp, which is the first time that we all play together in game settings to see how we play.”
The team will begin their title defense on August 6 at home against Lovett High School.