OVERLAND PARK, Ks. — Johnson County is home to a volleyball club drawing praise from every direction.
Blue Valley North (25-2) started the season on a huge winning streak, one that gained the team attention on the national level. The Mustangs won their first 25 matches of the year, and as of Tuesday, they were ranked as the 20th best team in the United States, according to MaxPreps.
The Mustangs won the Kansas Class 6A State Championship in 2021, taking home the school’s only state volleyball championship.
“We know we have to earn every victory. We have to fight.” Matt Allin, BVN’s head coach for 27 seasons, said.
Allin has an experienced team with strong hitters and dependable settlers. North’s remarkable win streak ended on Saturday with two losses in a weekend tournament. Two weeks remain in the regular season, and the Mustangs continue to work toward wins.
“We’re well-rounded. We have a lot of kids who can get kills for us, and score at any time. I think that makes it hard for the other team to defend because we are very well-rounded,” Allin said.
This program has made four trips to the state finals, and players who remember winning it all in 2021 know the sweet smell of success.
“It’s a long three months of practicing every day and being with each other every day. It’s easy to fall into a hole and not rise up to the challenge,” Jenna McClure, BVN Outside Hitter, said.
“We know that we’ve gotten there, and we have the ability to get there again,” Felicia Wu, Mustangs Defensive Specialist, said. “Everyone plays at such a high level for the club, and we bring it into here. Our coaches do a good job of putting us in position to do well.”
As for this season, the Mustangs have been so dominant, they lost only seven sets in their first 20 games. Four players remain from that state title run two years ago. They could lead the drive to the next championship.
Blue Valley North meets its neighbors from Blue Valley on Tuesday. The Mustangs are also looking forward to the Kansas Class 6A State Tournament in Salina, which is on the calendar for October 27-28.