ENNIS — Ennis is the defending state champion and has been a proven power in Class C volleyball. The Mustangs, led by head coach Betty Klein, are among the contenders again this year with many familiar faces, including all-state senior Jourdain Klein.
“I am very fortunate to have her,” Betty said of her daughter Jourdain. “She’s very passionate about the game. She’s a team player and she’ll do whatever it takes to help us win. She has the support of all of her teammates, so it’s been great.”
Jourdain has prospects of playing collegiately and has been in contact with a school right down the road in Bozeman. Although nothing has been made official, Betty would favor Jourdain playing for Montana State.
“I’m so excited for the potential of her to be close to home and to be able to watch her and support her,” Betty said.
Klein is one of four seniors contributing significantly for Ennis, but it’s been a freshman that has stepped up to fill a hole in the middle. Jourdain’s younger sister Shelbey has played the role previously occupied by another all-state Mustang, Danyel Martin, who graduated in May.
“(Shelbey’s) young and she doesn’t have the reps that the older girls have, but I think that she’s doing a great job right now,” Betty said of her younger daughter. “I’m very proud of her in the middle. She had huge shoes to fill, but I think she’s doing pretty good.”
“Shelbey’s doing a great job filling (Martin’s) spot,” Jourdain said. “We have both of us playing middle, which is awesome, and I think she’s going to do a great job.”
As for the rest of the Mustangs, they’re focused on making it back to the state tournament to defend their state title. Ennis has rarely been tested throughout the regular season, but the Mustangs know that better competition later in the season can capitalize on any miscues.
“We just have to be consistent,” Betty said. “We have to serve well and tough. We have to pass well and we can’t make mistakes. We’re going to come against some really hard teams and we know that if we make little mistakes they’ll get us in the end, so we just have to focus on that.”
Ennis begins its march toward back-to-back state titles on Oct. 24 with the District 12C tournament at Manhattan Christian High School.