Every month, JOEINSIDER.COM Publisher Wes Morgan writes a feature story for the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Second Half blog. This month, the focus was on defending Division 4 volleyball champion Mendon, which is looking strong despite replacing a talented outgoing group of seniors from a year ago.
Losing half its roster following a Division 4 championship season presented plenty of challenges to the Mendon High School varsity volleyball program this fall. But the resourceful Hornets, led by second-year head coach Heather Bowers, have managed to compete at a high level while simultaneously forming a new identity.
With a dominant offense in 2018 that resulted in a MHSAA postseason run that was nearly perfect (just one set dropped in seven matches) and culminated with a 25-16, 25-21, 25-14 victory over No. 1-ranked Leland in the finals at Kellogg Arena, Bowers’ first year in charge was a smooth transition for the program. This year, without as much firepower, a slew of injuries and players having to learn new and critical positions, a match record of 21-6-6 has required a more blue-collar approach.
“They still have that drive that has been instilled in them,” Bowers said. “They’re not satisfied; they want more all the time. They have that competitiveness this year, too. The talent is there, and it is a very athletic group that’s fun to work with.”