Southwestern volleyball’s Sydney Maynes didn’t even play the sport her first two years after coming out of Southwest Valley High School.
After two years at Northwest Missouri Missouri State, Maynes has spent the last two years patrolling the net for the Spartans.
Maynes decided to play for SWCC after Taylor Damewood, who also finished her sophomore year with the Spartans as a setter, convinced Maynes to contact then new coach Aleesha Cleaver. She was already in Creston to take SWCC’s nursing program.
“Taylor doesn’t get the credit she deserves,” Maynes said. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without her.”
Damewood and Maynes only saw time together in limited action when Maynes was a senior at Southwest Valley and Damewood was a sophomore for the Timberwolves.
“It was a challenge at first last year to get our connection back, but then we worked really hard in the offseason,” Maynes said.
Despite battling health and injury issues, Maynes finished her career with a pick to the ICCAC Region XI A/B team as a middle hitter and an honorable mention all-conference pick.
Sophomore libero Ashley Kopplin of Rockford,
Illinois picked up honors on the first team for Region XI and all-conference first team and second-team all-conference with 624 digs.
Freshman Jada Perkins of Omaha was honorable mention all-ICCAC thanks in large part to her 344 kills and 432 digs.
Maynes missed extensive action her freshman year while plagued with mono, and missed several weeks of action this season with a “labral scuff” (injury to swinging shoulder) that has bothered her as far back as last season.
“Thank goodness we have a great trainer (Kelsie Hines-Huseman),” Maynes said. “She did a lot for me.”
While pursuing a career with a medical background, Maynes has picked up a four-year degree leading her toward the nursing profession.
“There’s a real bright side to being a nursing student,” Maynes said. “You learn how to take care of yourself.”
Taking care of herself led to a standout sophomore season in which she had 165 kills and 91 blocks in 26 matches.
Maynes set up blocks with several different Spartan teammates, but was always one of SWCC’s high leapers at the net, using her 6-3 frame and long arms to slow opponents’ attacks.
Her efforts, and those of Kopplin and Perkins too, helped SWCC improve from a six-win team in 2016 to 20-21 this season.
“Honestly, we wanted to make coach proud this year of thing and have a tournament run,” Maynes said.
The Spartans didn’t make that tournament run, but did drastically change the outlook of the program.
That success has Maynes excited about possibly continuing her career in volleyball, as she already knows she wants to continue classes.
“I’m a person, who loves school for some reason,” Maynes said with a laugh.
“Where I’m sitting at right now, If I ended up ending my career right now, I’d be a pretty happy camper.”