Diller-Odell Volleyball: An Appreciation
In my thirty-two years in the school business I have seen a lot. I have seen major accomplishments and disappointments. As they said on ABC’s Wide World of Sports back in the day,…….. “Sports brings out the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” Sports offers great life lessons in teamwork, work ethic, dedication and commitment.
Having a front row seat to volleyball games the last 4 years has given me a perspective on winning at an incredible level. I had to work my can off in 19 years as a head football coach. After going 23-47 my first eight years, we were 65 and 38 the next eleven years. In the end, we had won 88 and lost 85 games. Not Doug Goltz like numbers, but I was very proud of the program we built. Very proud of some great wins that we had that I will remember forever and friendships made with former players that today are dear friends.
Our volleyball program in the last 4 years has had 118 wins and 20 losses. That is two wins away from being 100 games over .500. Let that sink in and find something to compare it to.
The last four years has seen more wins in a 4-year span then we have ever had at Diller-Odell. Additions to that resume the last four years: Playing in the Pioneer Conference Finals all 4 years, with one Championship. Playing in the MUDECAS Class A Finals 3 years, with two titles. Four trips to the state tournament, with two State Championship trophies. That is incredible.
Volleyball records of some of our rival or neighboring schools in the same 4-year span are:
Falls City Sacred Heart 105-35
Tri County 42-68
Nebraska football is 16-27 the last four years. In better days that program lost only 3 games from the 1993 season through the 1997 season, which offers more perspective.
This year the girls played Falls City Sacred Heart six times. Six times is a crazy amount. Then you factor in the Irish are ranked #1, and of the six times we played, we beat them twice. No other team in our state tournament field even played Sacred Heart prior to the state tournament. Take out the sets that Sacred Heart lost to us, and they only lost one other set the whole season prior to the state tournament.
However, the success goes deeper than the last four years. Accomplishments the last 8 years include:
A record of 230 wins and 48 loses.
8 straight Pioneer Conference finals appearances with two titles. Incredible. A tough tournament every year. The competition our girls face is some of the best. The Pioneer Conference has produced 6 state champions in the past eight years.
5 MUDECAS Class A Championship appearances with four titles. Incredible. This is absolutely one of the toughest tournaments in the state.
7 State tournament appearances in 8 years, with titles the last two years. Incredible.
What I do know is that the success of our volleyball program involved the dedication of a number of people, and has been years in the making. It takes a core group to succeed. One person can’t do it by them self. It takes a group to feed off each other, support each other, and be selfless.
Back in 2014 when the first Diller-Odell team qualified for the state volleyball tournament, we had girls on our current team in elementary school wanting to emulate the success they saw. The girls witnessed what it took to be successful, and learned from the success they saw. The young girls saw us playing in the state tournament at PBA and at Devaney and playing for state championships. Those teams in 2014, 2015, and 2016 paved the way for what our more recent teams have been able to build on. It is a tribute to all of the coaches and players to maintain the success that our program has enjoyed. Everyone should be very proud of what has been built and accomplished.
Coach Hestermann and Coach Noyd have done a remarkable job this year off adapting and dealing with adversity. This year’s team had a lot of work to do with only three girls having varsity experience and several Freshman filling key roles. To make it to the state tournament once again is very impressive and is a tribute to leadership on and off the court.
I truly believe that our volleyball program has become one that others want to emulate. Imitation is a high form of flattery.
Our young kids need to prepare for success in high school at a young age. Success comes from having a love and a passion for the sport. It takes countless hours of dedication and preparation to have the success our girls have had in volleyball.
I have had a front row seat. Hopefully people appreciate what they have been witnessing. I know I have.