MOSINEE - Every practice starts with a quote.
"Never forget that you do not shine under the bright lights," a Mosinee player said to her teammates. "The bright lights only reveal your work in the dark."
Mosinee volleyball has taken that quote to heart, especially when it comes to their block.
"It's something we've worked at and, you know, we have times where it's not always the best," head coach Justin Jacobs said. "But over the long haul of the season, we've gotten better and its paid off in some big moments."
Working hard is just part of it.
Working as a team is the other part.
We sort of mix up the teams and drills a little bit with different individuals, so we get comfortable with blocking with each other," junior Paige Wicklund said.
Mosinee had 147 blocks in conference play this year. All but nine of them involved more than one person, which requires precise hand positioning.
"Definitely just keep your hands up, then push your thumbs up and out, and definitely press," junior Aurora Krause said as she showed the motions. "Otherwise, it'll go right off your fingertips and out of bounds and they'll call you for a touch."
The only thing more important to a block then technique is trusting your teammates.
"You have to have a really good relationship with your team and it has to be really coordinated with them to have everything go perfectly smooth," Krause said.
"That's a really important thing this team has is trust," Wicklund said.
Krause and Wicklund credited Northland Pines outside hitter Jacqueline Smith with being the hardest player to block.
Competing against her and some of the other tough opponents in the area may give them an extra boost going into the state tournament.
Mosinee plays East Troy in the Division 2 volleyball semifinals Friday, Nov. 2 at 4 p.m.