Argenta-Oreana volleyball coach Mindi Logue could sense the program growing each and every year.
Logue reckoned it was only matter of time until a group of devoted players would take the Bombers to the next level.
She was right.
The Bombers started this fall 8-0 and manufactured their best season in program history.
Argenta captured the outright Little Okaw Valley Northwest Conference title, finished 22-8 — its most wins in 43 years — and won Logue the H&R Macon County Coach of the Year honor.
“When I started, I had a vision of where I wanted the program to go and I stuck to it,” Logue said. “You can kind of see the excitement every year for volleyball at Argenta grow a little bit more and more. It's just grown and every year, there's just a few more girls who are dedicated and I really couldn't do it with all of the girls who have come through the program.”
It came to a head with a group of seniors: libero Madison Schultz, setter Haley Williamson, middle hitter Madyson Eller and outside hitter Hannah Slemp.
All captains, each had a pivotal role on the court.
“This group of seniors have just been very dedicated to volleyball,” Logue said. “They love the sport. They play club volleyball and work so hard in the offseason in the weight room. They're just very good leaders and motivators. All the underclassmen looked up to them and followed their lead.”
Eller and Slemp perhaps grabbed the most attention on offense, each posting more than 200 kills this season.
But that wouldn't have been possible without Schultz's passing in the back row and Williamson's assists.
“It was a total team effort,” Logue said. “They all made a great combination together.”
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Williamson was the only four-year starter and amassed 1,258 assists in her career — by far the most in Logue's seven years there and probably in school history.
“I think for anybody that's a pretty remarkable achievement,” Logue said of Williamson. “She just worked hard every year and she had goals in mind what she wanted to achieve. I think she did a great job.”
They underpinned a consistent season.
Logue enjoyed every minute of it with the entire team.
“They worked so hard every day," Logue said. "They loved coming to the gym and spending time together. It just made it really easy to be their coach this year. I just enjoyed coming in and coaching every game with them and seeing them improve every day in practice.
“It didn't matter who was on the court. They all worked really hard. They pushed each other every day in practice and supported each other. They just loved being around each other. It just showed on the court how much of a team they were. It was just a joy for me to be a part of it.”
It all came down to one unforgettable night.
Argenta not only shattered the school record with 21 wins, but also clinched its conference title all at once against Sangamon Valley.
Logue didn't reveal that last part until after the match.
“They had no idea it was coming,” Logue said. “It was nice to be able to tell them that after the game and celebrate that victory and accomplishment together."
After coming up short in the Class 2A regional against LeRoy, Logue hopes the foundation has been set for an even brighter future.
“Everybody in the program had fun watching the success,” Logue said. “They all want to work hard, too. They want to do just as well, if not better than this year's team. They set a pretty high standard. It will be hard to do that, but I know the girls in the program are willing to train, step up and do whatever they can to have a successful season.”