A rich and prolific volleyball tradition is on display at Friendswood High School. Reminders of the Mustangs nine final four appearances, including a state championship in 1994, are abundant. And now the current group has its own place in Friendswood lore, earning the program’s 10th trip to state.
Tori Weatherley, SR Setter : The feeling is something that I’m never gonna forget...1:02 The final point was all of our goals being achieved, it still is just a great feeling…:28 so we are super excited to have the entire city of Friendswood behind us, and to be able to do something like this for your community and school is an unreal feeling
Ashlyn Svoboda, JR Outside Hitter: It’s super exciting, we’ve all been looking forward to this, we’ve all been wanting to get here since day one
Makensy Manbeck, SR Middle Blocker: It’s still an unreal feeling, last year we were regional finalists, we got 2nd there, and bringing home that silver medal was just not good enough, so when we came back it was just super exciting to win that
Paulk: There was one thing that still escaped me and it was going to state, and the fact that we get to go and be with these girls, it still feels really surreal, like I can’t believe I’m talking about it and here
Sarah Paulk is in her 4th season as the Mustangs head coach and has seen this group develop and come together over the last four years.
Sarah Paulk, HC: I’m so so so proud of these kids, the seniors were freshman when I got here, and we haven’t recreated the wheel but we’ve changed some things and made them work really hard and do some things that were uncomfortable, and they’ve bought in and they’ve been coachable and it’s nice to have something to show them, hey this is all the hard work you did and now look where you are
Makensy Manbeck, SR Middle Blocker : This group is so special, we started here with Coach Paulk her first year here at Fwood, and we’ve all been playing together since we were freshmen, and we’ve grown a good connection and that’s why we do as well as we do bc we’re all such a tight-knit group and we love playing with each other
Weatherley: They’re my family, my best friends, the coaches I have volleyball parents, we’re just such a close-knit group
The Mustangs now look to capture the school’s second state championship, 25 years after the first.
Paulk: I told the kids, I was even a little kid when that happened...to finish the job would be amazing
Weatherley :To win state would be something that probably less than .1% of girls can say they did, and it would be something I would be proud of for my entire life, and I could always come back to Friendswood and know that I had a legacy here and was a part of something so great
Manbeck: Well this has been my dream since I was a little girl, I’ve been playing volleyball for I don’t know how many years and not many people get to say they won a state championship, and having that ring would be awesome and *wheeeewwww*
Win or lose, this team has had an unforgettable season, and left its mark on this storied program.
Manbeck: We just make a lot of memories, every day I come in here looking forward to seeing those smiling faces, looking forward to putting in as much work as I can to make this program outlast bc I know there’s a little girl in the stands waiting to be just like us