Members of this year's Padua Franciscan High School volleyball team knew from the season's outset that developing an unwavering belief in one another and a confidence in their collective abilities would be vital to the team contending for a Division II state title.
The Bruins adopted "Success is an Attitude" as its mantra early on in the preseason and then proceeded to prove its dominance by racking up win after win while simultaneously earning state and national recognition.
Among their many accomplishments, the Bruins posted a perfect 10-0 record in North Coast League play and captured the program's sixth straight district title.
According to second-year head coach Jim BeHarry, the 15-member squad worked liked a well-oiled machine with each player fulfilling her role throughout the season.
"The 2012 Padua volleyball team is not like any other in the state," BeHarry said proudly during a recent interview with usatodayhss.com/Cleveland. "We have six solid players on the floor every rotation."
Padua's season came to an end on Nov. 3 when the Bruins (24-3) fell to Norwalk in five games in a regional final match at Ontario High School.
A few days before Padua's regional final appearance, BeHarry answered questions about his team and its banner season for WKYC's usatodayhss.com Web site.
WKYC's usatodayhss.com Web site: What are three adjectives that describe your team and/or its play this season?
Padua volleyball coach James BeHarry: Courageous, hard-working, determined.
WKYC: What has been your team's greatest strength this season?
WKYC: What has been your team's greatest weakness this season?
BeHarry: Unforced errors.
WKYC: What was the high point of your team's season?
BeHarry: Going undefeated in the Blue Division of the North Coast League and holding the No. 1 spot in the state coaches' poll from week one to week six.
WKYC: What was the low point of your team's season? What did it learn from the experience?
BeHarry: Losing to Magnificat in the finals of the Magnificat Fall Showcase. The team learned to work harder the next day to be the first team in Padua volleyball history to beat Magnificat. They accomplished [that goal] the following week.
WKYC: Who are your team's leaders? What do they bring to the team?
BeHarry: The M & M's - Marissa Jay, Mary Djukic and Maci Budzik. These girls are our captains and display leadership and guidance to our team.
WKYC: Who has been your team's unsung hero(es) this season? Why?
BeHarry: Emily Marcinowski. Emily has been our go-to girl this season. She has stepped up to the plate and overcome many obstacles. She has brought great strength and depth to Padua volleyball.
WKYC: What will you remember about this year's squad?
BeHarry: I'll remember that, in the end, we came together as a team to accomplish a common goal. Each player took the floor and gave it their all by not looking any further than doing what it took to get better on the next play and to do what it took to win the next point.
For more Northeast Ohio high school sports news, scores, photos and videos, visit usatodayhss.com/Cleveland.