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SAW: Stewartville volleyball

2019 presented its challenges for the state champion Tigers.

Posted: Nov 14, 2019 2:23 AM
Updated: Nov 14, 2019 2:23 AM

KIMT NEWS 3 SPORTS - Every team dreams of winning a state championship. All of the hours spent on the court and watching film prepares them for the one big moment.

"This has been an emotional year," said Stewartville volleyball coach, John Dzubay. "We had everyone back except one so the expectations from the start were pretty high. Their expectations were high from the start."

Once that dream finally becomes reality the feeling is indescribable.

"Instant chills. It's unreal. I just dropped to the floor," said Erin Lamb. "Just knowing that all of our hard work and everything we've worked for - everything we've said, we brought it together and did it."

For the first time since 2014, Stewartville is back on top of the volleyball world having defeated the defending state champion, North Branch in a five-set thriller. Dzubay knows from experience that not every dream results in a fairytale ending.

"Sometimes all of the hard work and stuff doesn't pay off and you get to the end and it's not there, but it was there tonight so this is pretty darn special."

For the Tigers to get to this point was a miracle of its own. Star outside hitter, Kaitlyn Prondzinski had battled a hip injury while Lamb worked through a concussion and sprained ankle. However, there was never any doubt in their minds they would win it all.

"We knew we could do it. It's different to say at the beginning of the season like we do, 'we can win state this year,'" Prondzinski said. "It's different to say it and believe it and we believed it the whole way through."

2019 was an emotional year for the Tigers and they wouldn't have it any other way.

"We're an emotional team and we show our emotions," added Prondzinski. "When we're all into it, everything seems to work out better - we play better."

To nominate a Student-Athlete of the Week, click here.

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