EDMOND — In the early days of the season, Edmond North volleyball coach Kimo Aweau knew his team would need some time to get in unison.
With a few new starters playing for a new coach trying to achieve at a very high level, it wasn't going to be a quick and easy transition to success.
But that was in the early days of the season.
Last Thursday, the Huskies proved they're ready for the best the state has to offer, taking down defending Class 6A champion Tulsa Kelley in four sets (16-25, 25-17, 25-15, 25-22). Edmond North became just the third in-state team in the last four years to beat the Comets, who won the previous four Class 5A titles before the bump to 6A last year.
“It was definitely a huge confidence-booster for us,” senior Maggie Benson said. “It's very exciting to be playing as well as we did.
“We're all getting used to each other. It's a challenge, but it's fun when we figure it out.”
With the win, Edmond North improved to 10-1 and took over the No. 1 spot in the coaches' rankings this week. But one win over Kelley doesn't make the season.
“It was a huge win for us,” Aweau said. “It's really going to set us up for the rest of our season. We see it as the first big step in our push toward the postseason.”
The Huskies can't relax. Edmond Santa Fe's Heather Harkness Invitational is this weekend, and that draws some of the state's best teams, like Edmond Memorial, Heritage Hall, Tulsa Union and others.
And there's another match with Kelley down the line. So there's no time to rest for the new No. 1.
“We know we have to go back to practice and work even harder, watch film and see what we did wrong and what we need to improve on,” Benson said. “It was just another step in our season to try to make the team as successful as possible.”
The phrase “successful as possible” has only one translation: a state championship for the team that finished runner-up a year ago.
“I'm looking for that icing on the cake,” Benson said with a laugh. “Hopefully, we can get to the level to accomplish that.”