Coach Becky Middendorf watches the boys' volleyball team play against Parkway North from the sideline. (Photo by Abby Schnable)

Coach Becky Middendorf watches the boys’ volleyball team play against Parkway North from the sideline. (Photo by Abby Schnable)

The boys’ varsity volleyball team played in the district tournament last week and it was the last chance for coach Becky Middendorf to try and advance to state. The tournament was at Marquette High School and they played against Lindbergh, Marquette, Ritenour, and DeSmet.

“I would say I’m optimistic,” Middendorf said before entering the tournament. “Knowing that you only have to come out in first or second gives you a good chance to make-up a game that maybe you don’t play so well. The goal is to make it to the next step, of course I want to see my team advance.”

The boys played each team during the tournament on Friday and needed to beat three or more of the teams to be placed first or second.

In the end, the boys placed third in the district tournament losing to DeSmet and Marquette, meaning that they will not move on to the state tournament.

“I knew Marquette would be a tough team. We’ve played them for the third time now and we would play with them, then struggle in the end,” Middendorf said.

This was Middendorf’s last season with Pattonville volleyball, but she will remain a  teacher at the high school.

With any team, there are always memorable moments from the season. It was tough for Middendorf to really choose just one.

“Just watching the kids develop is really fun,” Middendorf said. “Senior Chris Gawat really took on his new role as a setter and ran with that. It was good seeing that with him learning a whole new position and improving the way he did.”

She said it’s hard to think of memorable games.

“Our last game where we beat Fort Zumwalt East was good because we were competitive the whole game,” Middendorf said. “We’ve had so many close games that it’s hard to pick one out. Just watching their progress is most memorable.”

Middendorf has been coaching at Pattonville for over 10 years, and has seen so many kids grow and evolve into better players and better people. She has made many memories with past teams.

“I will miss all the kids. I’ve coached a lot of kids and I keep in contact with a lot of them, so I’m going to miss those relationships and just watching the kids develop and grow and learning life lessons,” Middendorf said. “It’s more than volleyball, it’s about the kids.”

Alumni of the program Trent Oaks and Daniel Noles have come to games to watch the teams and support Middendorf. Noles and his family brought Middendorf flowers in honor of her last home game with the team.

“It’s always nice to see former players and kids that have left the program come back and want to be part of it again and support me,” Middendorf said. “Of course it’s nice. I felt like this was part of their life they enjoyed and they got something out of it, enough to make the effort to come back and see me. It’s a pleasure to see every kid I’ve ever coached. Some of them I don’t ever see and I always wonder what they’re doing. I like keeping in touch with the kids I’ve coached.”

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