Springville’s record-breakers aim for another deep run

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 8:23 PM CDT
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Springeville, Iowa (KCRG) - More than 891 and counting. That’s how many digs Springville senior libero Grace Matus has recorded on the season. With a number like that, it’s no surprise she’s etching her name in the record book. Matus became the school record holder for career digs passing the previous tally of 865 that was set back in 2001.

“I had no idea until they told me which was pretty cool, because that’s something that I’ll never forget,” explained Matus.

“Grace gets after the ball all the time,” said Springville volleyball head coach Claude Howard. “She’s got great vocal leadership and she’s always been a natural defensive player, so I wasn’t surprised at all. I’m just glad it happened under my watch and I got to see it happen. I’m sure that record will stand for several years to come,” he added.

She’s not the only Oriole that will go down in school history. Junior setter Nia Howard is also expected to beat the all-time record for assists by the end of the season.

“It means so much because it’s been my dream since forever to first of all, just be a varsity setter. It’s crazy that I can get a record like this. It was held by Madi Wagaman who was my idol for so long,” said Howard.

For players to reach that level of individual success, you know this is a team stacked with talent. Springville boasts a roster of 13 upperclassman who are coming off of back-to-back state quarterfinal appearances.

“Most teams that go there they don’t have the same group. All our seniors have been there twice for basketball and twice for volleyball, so we’ve all be there four times at least. That’s a little reassurance knowing that we can get there, we can do it, but we just need to have the motivation to get past that first round,” said Matus.

“We definitely have way more confidence and we definitely think we can get farther. We haven’t’ played our best when we’ve gotten there, but we definitely have confidence,” said junior outside hitter Savannah Nealman.

The Orioles are no longer considered the young guns. In fact, they’ve became a team to beat.

“It’s so fun to think that teams are really trying their best to take us down, because I think it just boosts us up a little bit,” said Howard.

Buying into a faster offense and gaining confidence is what has made this team dynamic. Now, they’re looking to take their success a step further on the state stage.

“It’s been great to be one of the top 8 teams I think six out of the last 8 years, I think that we’ve been doing this” said Coach Howard. “But really taking that step and taking a couple steps at the state tournament, I think that’s what we’re all hopeful for.”

“It’s definitely something we all want and we want it bad,” added Matus.

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