MUNSTER | Wilbur Wright's eighth-grade volleyball team almost went undefeated this season.
That is if you want to get technical.
"Ben Franklin (of Valparaiso) has always been our toughest opponent," Mustangs coach Laurie Hamilton said. "They beat us in the first game (25-23) before we came back to win the next two (25-18, 15-11).
"It was an away match for us. For some reason, the girls didn't play as well on the road this year."
If only the Chicago Bulls had such road woes.
The Ben Franklin match was the only time all season that the Mustangs were forced to play three games -- middle school matches are best-of-three. All others were two-and-out as Wilbur Wright finished the season with a 16-0 record that included Lake Middle School Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles.
Coupled with what the team did as seventh-graders, the Mustangs were 32-0 over the past two years.
"What we normally do here is to have a coach stay with the team from seventh grade to eighth grade," said Hamilton, a former varsity girls basketball coach. "So next year, I'll go back down to seventh grade.
"The team is almost the same from last year. Olivia Bednarowski is our only new player. She replaced Mary Kate Pruzin, who decided to focus more on dance this year."
Bednarowski was named the team's "Most Improved" player this season. Among the other award recipients was Lexi Pitsas, who was named the Mustangs' "Best All-Around" player for the second-straight year.
Another notable player was front-liner Kayla Williams, who was cited with Marijke Van Dyke as the team's best hitters and blockers.
"But (Williams) went down with an injury, and that was big loss for us," Hamilton said. "Somehow, our team was able to pull through."
Like a high school team, the Mustangs had designated positions according to a player's specialized skill.
"We have hitters, we have setters ... we even have a libero," Hamilton said of the back-line defensive specialist (libero), that was incorporated in the game 12 years ago. "And we're all good servers. We even have some girls who can jump serve."
Hamilton previously coached a Mustang team to consecutive undefeated seasons in 2005 and 2006.
"But other than that team and this team, I don't know if that has ever been done before at this school," Hamilton said.