TOW: Elwood Volleyball (1st State Appearance in Program History)

The Pirates volleyball squad greeted at their pep rally before heading to Lincoln.

It's been a roller–coaster year for Elwood volleyball. From defeating only two programs with winning records in the regular season, to making an astonishing post–season run. Giving the Pirates the spotlight as NTV's Team of the week.

After a grueling season of challenges and close matches, the Elwood Pirates turned the D2 district 8 tournament into upset city. Toppling both Axtell and Red Cloud to capture their first district title in program history.

"I remember looking at my starting setter and saying this isn't it," senior outside hitter Felicia Knoerzer said. "We knotted our heads and we went out there on a run, we won that fourth set, and that fifth set we brought that match."

For the Pirates, it's the maiden voyage they've been waiting for, for a long time. Appearing in their first ever state championship.

"I remember being a student manager my seventh grade year, and just looking at records and seeing that no one had ever gone to state," Knoerzer continued." Records that haven't been broken for 12 plus years, so coming into my high school season I said I'm breaking records and I'm going to state. I accomplished both of those, so I'm pretty proud of that."

"This has been a goal of ours since the girls were little," head coach Lori Knoerzer said. "The girls have a lot of friends on the team, you know they started playing together when they were young," Lori continued. "Just playing together and having this opportunity as a team and friends it's unbelievable."

Playing in unfamiliar territory, Elwood once again finds themselves as the underdog facing number two Hyannis. But plans to treat the state tournament with the same mind set as districts.

"I'm really hoping we can get the girls focused and ready to play," Lori said. "Because that's all going to determine how the game goes. If they're ready to play and not frightened by the venue and by the whole state thing."

"We just got to look at it as just another team, just another gym," Felicia stated. "We're not trying to look at it as large of a scheme it actually is and just really read the court find our open holes and take advantage of their weakness."

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