Following Manitowoc Lincoln’s sweep of West Bend East in a WIAA Division 1 sectional final match on Saturday in Oshkosh, junior setter Mallory Dixon shared embrace with her mom and head coach Mary Beth.
“She turned to me and said, ‘after all these years, we finally get there and I get to be there with my daughter,'” Mallory said of the moment. “The tears came but I realized, after all the work she that she’s put in with me, the days at the gym, driving me to all the club practices and club tournaments, that it has finally paid off.”
Mary Beth’s oldest daughter, Molly also played volleyball for her mom but never advanced to the state tournament.
Mallory grew up going to the state tournament as a spectator and has longed for the opportunity to experience State with her mother on a player/coach basis. Today, the dream comes true.
“It’s really cool knowing that I get to walk into the Resch with my mom,” Mallory said. “It’s something that I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid. Now my mom gets to be a part of it just as much as I am. Not only as a parent, but as a coach.”
Mary Beth, who has been the head coach at Lincoln since 2001, has made seven appearances at the state tournament as a head coach, including a pair of state championships with Cuba City in 1990 and 1992. Her daughter’s presence will make this trek to State that much more memorable.
“It is very special,” Mary Beth said. “I think there a lot of people, when we go to play, that don’t even connect the two together until after the game or if we’ve played a couple of times.”
State bound Manitowoc Lincoln girls volleyball player Katie Henry gives a high-five to classmate Trevor Feest following the pep rally in front of the entire school assembly inside the JFK Fieldhouse on Thursday. Caught in the middle of the high-five is volleyball player Emily Kretsch. Sue Pischke/HTR Media. Photo taken on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014.
Even with the excitement of a trip to the state tournament hanging over their heads, things haven’t changed much in the Dixon household.
“We’ve talked about the itinerary and those kinds of things,” Mary Beth said. “We’ve talked about Burlington is and what we need to do, but that’s no different than what I talk to the other players about.”
No matter how things shake out today, Mallory will always appreciate the unique relationship she has with her mother.
“Usually, when we step out on the court, she becomes more of a coach and less of a parent,” Mallory said. “That’s pretty cool.”