The Komets of Kasson-Mantorville rolled to their second consecutive Section 1-AA Title over the weekend, beating PEM in the section championship game. Leading the way was junior outside hitter Peyton Suess, a six-foot star who has played on the varsity level since 8th grade.
Suess said, "I think we're going into the [state] tournament with a lot of confidence, and that's something that will really help us as we progress throughout it. I think it's really great that we are on this roll and want to keep it going."
The Komets have never won a state title in volleyball, and Suess thinks it's time for that to change.
"It's something our program has been striving for since as long as I've been here -- and long before that -- so I think if we are able to achieve that this year, or in the coming years, it would be a huge step for us to set the bar a little higher."
Suess is an exceedingly accomplished volleyball player. Last year, she was named to the All-State team, the All-State Tournament team, and an All-American for her performance on her travel team. She's committed to play volleyball at Wake Forest University, and K-M head coach Adam VanOort thinks the sky is the limit for Peyton.
"She's driven. She's a driven player. She's got goals, and she wants to achieve them. She has for a long time. I'd say since her 8th grade year, she kind of decided she wanted to be a college volleyball player. You don't get there by doing the same thing everybody else does. You gotta put in the time and the effort, and she's making it happen."
Suess leads the Komets in kills for the second straight season, and indication of her immense athletic talents, but VanOort thinks Suess's intangibles are vital to the Komets' success.
"She's really the leader out there on the floor. She'll bring the team together in between plays, give a little encouragement when things aren't going well, and that leadership and that experience is critical."