Wherever they may go, the Northview Knights are never alone.
The volleyball team doesn't just fill up its home gym, but has a traveling support system that includes more than just parents and grandparents of players. The student body has long embraced the group of girls that don the Northview Knights jersey. It helps that the program has won better than 100 matches over the last three years. The success extends farther back than that even and the fan base has continued to grow year-by-year.
It hasn't gone unnoticed by the players and the coaching staff. After all, that fan support can be quite an advantage.
In postseason play alone, the Knights have had at least as many fans as the home crowd has brought, and typically multitudes more. The Northview fans made an especially noticeable difference against defending state champion Brebeuf Jesuit Saturday night in the semi-state championship match.
The Braves brought roughly two fans for each member of the team and coaching staff. While 37 fans did their best to cheer on their squad, the fiery passion of approximately 200 Northview fans drowned out Brebeuf and ultimately washed them away in four games for the state finals bid.
"Ever since we started our program here, the fan support has grown. We are so lucky to have a tremendous following for these kids and the energy that they provide really helps our team," Northview coach Scott McDonald said. "The student section at a home match creates an environment that is very intimidating to opposing teams. I had a coach tell me that playing at Northview is the hardest thing they do all season because of facing the home crowd."
That isn't surprising considering the variety of students that man the midcourt across from the scoring table cheering out their support for their classmates. The basketball team has the Black Hole as they are called, but the volleyball team has a rabid student following as well. Oh the volleyball team is far from alone in its quest for a state championship. The community at large has been a big supporter of the team as local businesses have demonstrated with decorated store fronts.
"It means the world that everyone is showing support and encouraging us any way they can. It's the best feeling," senior Taylor Hess commented.
Senior teammate Gracie Geswein agreed that having the community and fans backing them has provided a special support system.
"Without our fans and students I don't think we would be as excited to play. They get us pumped up and ready to play," Geswein noted. Classmate McKenzi Kumpf agreed. "It's meant a lot. Knowing that this many people have our backs makes this experience even more amazing."