In any level of competition, you are going to find athletes and coaches who dedicate themselves 100% to their sport of choice. Even if the coach is in his/her first year, the level of dedication they show to the program in that rookie season says a lot about the person’s character and what they hope to achieve for their team over the course of their tenure. For Pella High head volleyball coach, Catie Brand, the way her Lady Dutch finished the season is more than likely a preview of things to come. The road to the 2012 state volleyball tournament in Cedar Rapids was paved with potholes and bumps in the regional tournament. In every round of the tourney, they would have to face a ranked opponent. The first round they played a ranked Newton squad and won in four sets, and next up was the match-up with tournament favorite, Solon. Brand told KNIA/KRLS Sports that her girls this season had a tendency to rise to the occasion when it came time to play a very, very good opponent, and this was no different. Brand’s Lady Dutch would win 25 – 23 over Solon in game one, but would drop the next three to the Spartans, ending their run towards the state tournament. Brand said that the locker room after the game was full of passion and tear-shedding moments, especially for the senior members of the Lady Dutch, but that only shows how much the program meant to each of the individuals involved.
“There was a lot of emotion and a lot of tears, and it’s never fun to lose that last game, especially when you’re a senior,” Brand said. “When there are tears and emotion, I just said that it means something. It’s something special if you get emotional when it’s done. I’m just really proud of them. We had five seniors this year, and they pushed our team, and they were great communicators, and they’ll really be missed next year.”
Pella finished the 2012 season with a 19 – 17 record.