By Kurt Ritzman
Assistant Sports Editor
CEDAR RAPIDS —
The high school volleyball careers of seven Marquette Catholic seniors ended Thursday night with a loss in the Class 1A volleyball state tournament.
“We can’t be sad because it’s over, but we need to smile because it happened,” senior Lauren Swain said.
The class led the Mohawks to 60 wins over the past two seasons and the school’s first state tournament appearance since 2004 and second in school history, accomplishing a long-time goal for the group.
“We’re happy because we worked hard and we played hard in these games,” senior Jacquel Frett said. “It’s sad that we’re never going to play again because we are seniors. But we played our hardest, and we achieved our goal by making it to state.”
Despite the loss, Marquette was pleased with the way it played after reaching its goal.
“We gave it everything we had,” senior Danielle Bender said. “I’m not ashamed at all of our performance.”
Last year, Marquette came one match short of reaching its goal as juniors. The girls said they were better this year, and a lot of that was because of their closeness as a group.
“We had great teamwork,” Frett said.
“It’s been a great season because we came together as a team,” senior Kelli Herrig said. “We knew out at state that everyone had our back. We were here as a whole team, not just as seniors.”
Six of the seniors started as sophomores for a 23-win team and four played as freshmen, two seeing significant time on the court.
“I told the girls we were proud of them, and it was a pleasure and honor to coach these girls,” Marquette coach Jill Herrig said. “They’re a fine group of young ladies. It has been a tremendous last four years.”