Hope Squad supports girls volleyball team in 3-1 victory against Lakota east

Henri Robbins | Staff Writer

The Mason High School Girls Volleyball team is hoping for a successful season after their victory against Lakota East.

During the girls’ volleyball match between Mason High School and Lakota East High School on September 13, both schools’ Hope Squads banded together to raise awareness for suicide prevention and support their teams. The match was won 3-1 by MHS, with a loss in the first game, but the next three being consecutive wins.

Senior Maggie King, an outside hitter, said that even though the match started off a little rough, they were able to pull together in the next three games. They kept a their focus throughout the match and had a strong offense, which, along with the support from the crowd, helped them win the last three games.

“The crowd was amazing,” King said. “They were really loud, especially games two, three, and four, and they really contributed to our win. (The Hope Squad) was the majority of our fans today, and I feel like their support really let us win today. I feel like they’re making a positive change.”

The outcome of the match looked uncertain at the start, said Coach Tiann Myer, but the team was able to strengthen their play between the first and second game. There were many unforced errors in the first, but with some adjustments to lineup and strategy, they were able to cut down on the errors and fire back at Lakota East. Along with the changes they themselves made, the team had support in the form of chanting, calling, and yelling from the Black Hole.

“We try not to get involved in that, but I will be honest, I think it most definitely helps,” Myer said.  “In the past, we’d never get a crowd. This, honestly, is the first year that we’ve had multiple games with this type of crowd, and I think they do love it. I think that they feel the support, and they’re going to play a little bit better.“

The Hope Squad was responsible for the crowds that appeared to cheer on the team, and Senior Hailey Spencer said that they are planning on supporting more of the teams in the same way.

“We’re going to do something at a football game, eventually,” Spencer said. “Right now we’re planning something for an away football game, but we also want to do something for a home football game. We talked about the homecoming game, which might be too soon, but we are planning more events, especially after the launch day we have in homeroom coming up.”

The “launch day” is a way that the Hope Squad is going to introduce themselves to the school during homeroom and give more information about what they’re doing, how to receive help, and who students can go to for help.

Along with the Hope Squad at MHS, other schools have formed their own, and Senior Alyssa Longworth, a member of Lakota East’s Hope Squad, said they have been working together to form a community and create awareness among the local schools.

“I think it’s awesome (to work with Mason),” Longworth said. “I love that we can connect with other school buildings this way and create positivity, not just within school districts, but in communities. We will definitely try to go over to some of their games. We’d be doing something similar to what we’re doing tonight, but maybe a little bit more.”

Coach Myer believes the awareness that the Hope Squad is creating around schools for mental illness is something that is going to help greatly. With the prominent issue of mental illness today, it is important to raise awareness.

“Several years ago, we had a volleyball player commit suicide, and the anniversary is tomorrow, so we as a program are going to discuss it, because most of these girls didn’t know her,” Myer said. “Mrs. Long is coming, and she’s part of the Hope Squad and running that, so I think it’s a great thing. I think that they’re doing a great job.”

Members of Hope Squad said that with the impact they had on the game, they are enthusiastic about being able to raise awareness and improve the school environment.

“I think it’s going to help a lot of people,” Spencer said. “And it feels really good to be able to bring, I know it sounds cheesy, but hope. It feels really good to bring hope, and just be able to have a positive area and a safe area within the school.”


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