Story by Dominic Stearn
High up in the ranks of Arizona high school women’s volleyball is Notre Dame Preparatory High School. Just two years ago, Notre Dame Prep finished their season with a 22-16 record. Now, the Saints are a powerhouse currently holding a 17-3 record and ranked second in the state by MaxPreps.
“We don’t set goals around the rankings,” Notre Dame Prep head coach Holly McLean said. “We set goals around effort and mentality, although it’s definitely cool to be recognized. It’s nice to be acknowledged when you know how much work is put in behind the scenes.”
Opposing teams also know how good the Saints are. Their record stands out, as does winning 40 out of the 48 sets played so far this year. They know that with this record, opposing teams have to bring their best effort.
“We have a target on our back,” McLean said. “I don’t know of many teams that have the ability to turn it on and turn it off so to speak and not put their best foot forward every night. The sport has become so competitive the last 5 years that almost every opponent requires your best.”
Sophomore Outside Hitter Evan Hendrix leads the Saints with 321 kills at an astounding 51.9% kill rate. Hendrix may be young, but her play and leadership are not.
“[Hendrix] is only a sophomore but the leadership qualities are starting to peek through,” McLean said. “It’s not easy to lead as an underclassman, but she’s finding her footing more and more each day.”
Other leaders on Notre Dame Prep include McKenna Douglas, Sophia Ross, and Kiera Ryan.
The Saints will take on the Goldwater Bulldogs on Sep. 28.