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State Volleyball: BBE's Mastey a game changer

BBE's Katherine Mastey (18) goes up for a block attempt on New Life Academy's Sophie Heruth during Thursday's Class A state quarterfinal match at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Joe Brown / Tribune

ST. PAUL — Kevin Weller admitted to marveling over some of Katherine Mastey's kills on Thursday.

Playing New Life Academy in the opening round of the Class A state volleyball tournament, the BBE head coach leaned on the senior middle hitter to provide some instant offense for the Jaguars, who won their quarterfinals match in three games on Thursday.

Mastey's performance left the 12th-year head coach in awe at points.

"Some of those kills she had today, I turned around and went, 'Oh my God, that's amazing,'" Weller said. "She's had those throughout the season."

While not in the starting six for BBE, Mastey brings a powerful swing every time she comes on the court. Prior to state, she was third on the team with 203 kills. And in Thursday's three-set win over New Life Academy, Mastey was second on the team with 10 kills on 17 attempts for a team-best .588 attacking percentage.

"When I go out there, I try to keep the mindset that everything is for my team," Mastey said. "Everything I do out there, I'm doing to have us, as a team, get points. That's what makes it fun."

For a senior, it could be a drag to be a bench player in your final year. Not for Mastey. She's embraced her role as the Jaguars' microwave on offense.

"I am just so proud of the girls that start and they're all my best friends," Mastey said. "I'm more proud of them than anything and I'm proud to come off the bench and help our team."

Every time she pounded the ball onto the floor on Thursday, it gave BBE some added energy. And it's something she's done plenty of times in 2018.

"She's that spark plug," Weller said, "and when something like that happens, they rally around it and every kill those girls have, that energy comes out of them."

Mastey did start at points this season before injury changed the team's rotation and put her on the bench. But, she accepted her role with no issue and the already potent BBE attack was made that much better thanks to Mastey's selflessness.

"That's the nice part about this whole team is everyone's so selfless," Weller said. "Everyone knows their role and they try to do it to the best of their ability. ... This team is so close and they bonded well."