The carryover has outlasted its expected shelf life, stretching through all or parts of three seasons, lingering through a grueling eight-month club campaign, reinvigorating itself as Monday drew near.
Such was the weight of Wayzata’s 2014 volleyball season. The youthful Trojans, with only two seniors, made a deep run in the Class 3A, Section 6 playoffs, falling to Eden Prairie in straight sets in the finals.
“After that game against Eden Prairie, we met right away in the locker room,” senior defensive specialist Raegan Palesch said. “We said we need to start earlier and focus on the goal for next year. We need to be ready to go when this season starts.”
Virtually all of the Wayzata volleyballers play in a club program. The club season runs from early November through June and, for the top programs, well into July. Some of the Trojans, including their stellar junior trio of Kate Berg, Morgan Baufield and MacKenzie Groechel, had remarkably successful summers. They played on the Minnesota Select 16-under team that took fifth in the Open Division at the AAU National Championships in Orlando, Fla., in late June.
Through all of the traveling, tournaments and training, the high school season was never far from their minds.
“I was excited to come back,” Baufield said. “I woke up way before my alarm went off.’’
Others shared Baufield’s desire to get back.
“Even during club, we all talked about the high school season,” senior outside hitter Lauren Jagerson said. “Getting all the girls back together from the high school team is great.”
One volleyball publication has Wayzata ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 3A, behind Prior Lake.
Coaches usually moderate such rankings — “I think that’s a little high,” Wayzata coach Scott Jackson said — but the players welcomed the acknowledgment.
“It just motivates us even more,” Berg said. “We know how good we can be.”