Prep of the Week: Whittney Deno

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(ABC 6 News) — Whittney Deno has proven to be a pivotal part of Kasson-Mantorville Volleyball in the time she’s been a KoMet; leading K-M to state appearances and multiple section titles.

An exciting experience, but a testing one as well.

“It’s crazy, all these big games that we’ve had,” Deno said. “It’s just like – I’ve feel like I’ve (had) heart attacks when we’ve gone to five with the last two teams. It’s like, ‘Oh my goodness, this could be our last game.’ But then we come together as a team and we’re like, ‘No, it’s not going to be.'”

Her point couldn’t have been clearer as she put up virtually identical stat lines in five-set wins over Faribault and Byron to make it back to State: 15 kills, 24 digs and two blocks plus three aces against the Bears.

“She’s been referred to as a hawk,” Whittney’s mother, Stacey added. “Cause she just finds a way. She just has the ability to stay focused even on the highest pressure and pick up her teammates and — or just not give up at all.”

“I love playing back row, I love getting digs and being that girl,” Whittney continued. “But spiking it, it feels good too, because you’re finishing the play off. I don’t know, I just love the sport.”

Even with a third-place finish at State, Deno’s not taking anything she’s done for granted. She soaked up as much knowledge as she could when she began playing the sport and in taking the KoMets so close to the mountain; she may not have won a state title but her precedent may influence that one day yet.

“I’ve grown a lot as a volleyball player,” Deno concluded. “Especially having these amazing coaches that we’ve had. If it wasn’t laid out, I wouldn’t have never been here, like — the player that I am today without these coaches and without their help.”