Mount Vernon’s path to the U.S. Cellular Center can be summed up in four words.
Take care of business.
The top-rated Mustangs open Class 2A regional volleyball play Tuesday against Belle Plaine. They’re heavily favored Tuesday, and they’re heavily favored to reach the state tournament for the third straight year.
“Like I tell my kids, I try to find out what I can on the opponents, the tendencies on what they’re going to do,” said Coach Shirley Ryan. “We’ve got to take care of business on the way we play.”
Mount Vernon (35-1) won the Wamac Conference tournament championship Saturday.
The Mustangs were 3A state runners-up in 2007 and 2008. This team is just as tall (six players are 6 feet or better) and just as talented (Brianna Strong and Ali Stark have committed to Division-I programs). They own a team kill efficiency of .400.
“The first two touches (dig and set) are so important,” Ryan said. “We have to pass in system.”
Mount Vernon is the lone ranked team in 2A Region 7.
Class 1A regionals resume Wednesday. Among the area hopefuls is Springville, which has reloaded quite nicely after advancing to the state semifinals last year.
The Orioles (20-12) were Tri-Rivers Conference regular-season champions.
“I knew we would have some success, but I didn’t know how long it would take for the girls to adjust to their new roles,” said Springville Coach Gretchen Eastman.
“I think the kids have had a chip on their shoulders. If we’re ready to play, and if we stay healthy, I think we’ll be a tough out.”
The Orioles open against Calamus-Wheatland.
Regionals begin Monday in 3A and 4A.