Mehlville volleyball coach earns 200th win

By Stephen Glover

As odd as it may sound, the girls’ volleyball team at Mehlville Senior High School missed out on a perfect opportunity for a historical celebration this past Saturday evening.

Without any knowledge or fanfare, Panther’s head coach Susan Hurt achieved her 200th career victory as Mehlville handed Marquette a 25-21, 26-24 defeat in the championship game of the Rockwood Summit tournament.

Hurt was aware that she would achieve victory No. 200 sometime this season upon the end of the 2002 season.

Yet it was not until late Saturday evening that she realized the historic feat that she had accomplished.

“It feels kind of exciting,” Hurt told the Call. “I knew at the end of the season last year that I was going to get it, but I didn’t know where or when it would actually happen.”

Upon the end of each season, Hurt tallies up her coaching record and then proceeds to write that on upcoming season’s statistics folder.

When she began working on updating the team’s stats after the Marquette win, it was then that the milestone hit her.

“I hadn’t a clue until I looked at the stats folder and realized it,” Hurt explained.

The Panthers (9-1, 1-1 Suburban West) avenged an early season loss to the Mustangs, which Hurt believed to be a good learning experience for her talented squad.

“That first loss to Marquette was such a good learning tool,” Hurt said. “It showed the kids that they’re not invincible.”

Senior middle hitter Jamie Joyner led the Panthers in attacks (22), kills (10) and in the monumental win over Marquette.

“Jamie was just on that day,” Hurt said. “It was a total team effort throughout the whole day.”

Another player that has really caught the attention of Hurt this season is junior outside hitter Danielle Estopare. The one thing that the Panthers’ head coach admires the most about Estopare is the junior’s heart and determination.

“I’ve had people come up to me and tell me that she’s over at Concord at midnight having people hit balls to her,” Hurt said. “Danielle’s got some heart and really wants to play. She’s really earned a spot in the starting lineup.”

The Panthers return to action today — Sept. 18 — in possibly their toughest match so far this season as they travel to Nerinx Hall. Mehlville should have very little trouble in getting fired up for a shot at the Markers, who handed the Panthers a 15-13, 16-14 defeat last season.

“The girls are going to be fired up for them (Nerinx Hall),” Hurt said. “The girls have been itching to beat them. Right now we’re going to have to work on our defense because we’ve got to really be on in order to beat them.”