(article by Ian Frazer of the Forsyth County News)
Mary Ellen Enright doesn’t know exactly how it happened, but eventually her reality became clear: She was the only freshman on the varsity volleyball team at North, and then the only sophomore, and two years later, the Raiders’ only senior.
Enright was the only player in the county to carry that weight, and she knew what she was getting into heading into this past season.
“I knew it was going to be hard,” Enright said. “I knew it was going to be a challenge.”
And it was: While the Raiders had their share of ups and eventually finished with a winning record, they also missed the state playoffs, a clear disappointment for a program that reached the quarterfinals in 2017.
But it wasn’t for lack of production by Enright, the team’s main outside hitter. After playing understudy to Maddie Bryant last season, Enright became the Raiders’ top offensive threat, recording 427 kills in 107 sets and a .313 hitting percentage, the top among outside hitters in the county only behind Lambert’s Ally Hall, who missed half the season with a torn ACL. Enright was also dangerous in service, with 63 aces, and excellent on defense, with 337 digs, good for third in the county.
Getting to know…
Mary Ellen Enright
Favorite social media platform:
Favorite non-social media app:
Eggs and bacon
Main sport of choice, if not volleyball:
Favorite school subject:
Go-to Netflix show:
The Vampire Diaries
“I think I ended up accomplishing most of the goals I wanted to accomplish,” Enright said.
Enright, who is signed to play at Shorter, still feels good about plenty of aspects of the Raiders season. Despite her experience making her something of an outlier, she still felt as close with this year’s North team as any other, with the Raiders avoiding the cliquey pattern that can sometimes affect teams, and Enright helped North head coaches Drew and Kelly Cecil obtain their 200th career win as a coaching duo.She also broke the marks for 1,000 career kills and digs, pulling it off in the last set of the Raiders’ last game of the year with a heroic 22-kill performance in an area tournament loss to West Forsyth.
The Raiders’ inexperience and Enright’s unusual role made for some difficult moments and stretches during the season. If there’s one thing she hopes she taught the program’s younger members, though, it’s that those obstacles shouldn’t affect your preparation.
“Always work hard in practice, no matter what,” Enright said. “No matter if you’re frustrated, or you had a bad day, to always just work hard.”
Her performance, even in an off season for the program, shows the wisdom of that advice.