Suess honored for K-M volleyball records in surprise ceremony
The first year that Kasson-Mantorville senior Peyton Suess stepped onto the varsity volleyball team was five years ago. As Suess was an eighth-grader at the time, she was joined by head coach Adam VanOort who was beginning his tenure leading the program.
Since that inaugural season, both Suess and VanOort have had quite the experience while the KoMets have risen to new heights including plenty of victories and multiple state tournament appearances.
“We’ve been through quite a bit together,” VanOort said. “She’s gotten better and improved and interestingly enough, the team has as well. We’ve gotten more competitive every year that she has been here and I think a lot of that has to do with her level of play.”
As Suess heads into the second half of her final season as a KoMet, her career is starting to come under the microscope. When K-M headed to the Marshall Invitational in early September, Suess put another stamp on the program becoming the all-time leader in kills and blocks.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” Suess said of holding both records. “It was one of my goals since I first started playing on varsity, and I’ve been really lucky to have such hard working teams that have been able to put me in these positions. It was really cool to meet this goal in my senior year.”
While her accomplishment had been around for several weeks, VanOort didn’t believe that Marshall was the best place to celebrate. So, he held onto the idea for several weeks until the homecoming volleyball game against Goodhue on Sept. 28. With her classmates packed inside Home Federal Arena, VanOort stopped the game between the second and third sets to honor Suess to her complete surprise.
“I had no idea,” Suess laughed afterward. “I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into when he stopped the game, but it was pretty cool. It was awesome to have all of my friends and classmates around me [to celebrate it].”
“I didn’t think it would be very cool to recognize it in Marshall,” VanOort explained. “You’ve got a handful of parents watching and not too many people making the trip out there. I was waiting for the opportunity, and I thought this would be the best chance to do it.”
As for the season, Suess has been a driving force along with her teammates as the KoMets have raced out to a 19-2 start to the season and are ranked second in Class AA. Suess credits all of her teammates for the team’s success this season and shares excitement for what K-M could do down the stretch.
“So far, we’ve gone through a lot of changes as a team,” Suess said. “We’re growing even in our practices and the tournaments we’ve had on the weekends. I think we’re on an upward progress and I can’t ask for any more out of these girls. We’re in a great spot.”