BHS’s Mauch a difference-maker and team player
The list is extensive.
Sydnie Mauch’s favorite title: Teammate.
“It was so fun this year,” Mauch said after learning she was the Brainerd Dispatch Area Co-Player of the Year along with Wadena-Deer Creek’s Brittney Noon.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better senior year. I just felt like a proud mother seeing how far we have come and how far some of the players have come. It was fun to see every player working hard because they loved the game.”
Mauch finished the season with a conference-leading 120 blocks, 343 kills, which placed her third in the conference, and 38 ace serves, good for fourth in the conference.
She added 78 digs and a serving percentage of 89 percent to help Brainerd to second place in the conference (9-3), a North Subsection 8-3A final appearance and an 18-12-1 overall record.
“The way she solidified the front row defensively — every player that was going to the attack line had to respect the block when they played Brainerd,” said Warriors head coach Jared Diem. “If she was on a team in the Cities or at a smaller school she would be all-state, no doubt about it. That’s the shame of living so far away from the action as a 3A school.”
What isn’t noticeable by looking at statistics and records is how Mauch affected her teammates. Diem said Mauch’s presence was a confidence boost to his young, but talented squad.
“I really like knowing people count on me,” said Mauch.” It makes me work harder. Getting others to play hard, I know I have to work that much harder to make sure I stay in the game and give our other players the confidence to do their job.”
Mauch finished her Warriors’ career with 851 career kills, 59 ace serves, 338 digs and 173 digs. Her serving this season was a boost to Brainerd. It also helped Mauch stay on the floor just a little longer.
“Serving is something I’ve always worked on and it was something that allowed me to play back row,” she said. “I like playing back row and being a good server was the only way I got to play it.
“I think the difference for me this year was I had confidence in my serve. It wasn’t a matter of serving harder, but just getting the ball in the right spots.”
The University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs locked up Mauch’s services next season. But the four-year varsity player, and three-year starter, is happy with what she was able to do as a Warrior.
In Mauch’s first year, Brainerd finished 4-20-1 overall and 0-11-1 in the conference. Her sophomore season Brainerd improved to 9-14-1 overall and 4-8 in the CLC. Last year, Brainerd jumped to 14-17-1 overall, but remained 4-8 in the conference. This year marked Brainerd’s best season since 2003.
“She left a big mark on Brainerd volleyball and helped to make our standard very high,” Diem said.” Every middle hitter that comes through our program is going to want to be like Sydnie Mauch. You can’t leave a better legacy on a program. She won’t be remembered for her stats, but she will be remembered for what she was able to do to this program.”
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.