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Winning a state title is difficult and the one team that doesn’t need to be reminded of that fact is the Mercy Academy Jaguars volleyball team.”As the back of our shirt says, ‘unfinished business’ we’re here,” Mercy senior setter Ella Teeley said. “That is our end goal. We’re focused on state.”Mercy has been the state runner-up each year since 2017 but now there’s a new coach who’s leading the program.”Mercy has such a great tradition. It’s awesome to be part of it, period,” Mercy head coach Connie Hulsmeyer said. “But then to have the opportunity to lead it, it’s really pretty special.”Hulsmeyer is in her third year with the program, first year as the head coach. She also coached on the college level, as well as various high schools around the city.But there was a point when she had to take a break from the sport.”I had my second child. I knew I was going to be out coaching and I was also still playing volleyball pretty competitively,” Hulsmeyer said. “So, in order to actually be back in shape for the next volleyball competition, I started doing a lot of weight training.”Next thing you know, she got into competitive fitness and bodybuilding.”I’m a very competitive person so I needed something to fuel that competitiveness,” she said.At least one of her players knew about her bodybuilding past.”You look her up and she is, like, huge!” Teeley laughed. “Like, I’ve never seen that side of Connie and it’s insane.”Having competed in events, such as the Kentucky Muscle, one lesson she learned from that kind of training also translates well to volleyball.”You learned to be very disciplined,” Hulsmeyer said. “So not just for me as a coach, but that’s what I hope I can convey to our players.”There was another lesson the players learned indirectly.”It just shows us the possibilities as female athletes. I respect her so much,” Teeley said. “I think she is gorgeous and I think it just shows, like, with our bodies and in practice, when we do harder drills, it’s more about conditioning and putting yourself in the best shape that you can and Connie is a good example of that.”Next up for the Jaguars, they’re getting ready to head to Las Vegas for the Durango Fall Classic.

Winning a state title is difficult and the one team that doesn’t need to be reminded of that fact is the Mercy Academy Jaguars volleyball team.

“As the back of our shirt says, ‘unfinished business’ we’re here,” Mercy senior setter Ella Teeley said. “That is our end goal. We’re focused on state.”

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Mercy has been the state runner-up each year since 2017 but now there’s a new coach who’s leading the program.

“Mercy has such a great tradition. It’s awesome to be part of it, period,” Mercy head coach Connie Hulsmeyer said. “But then to have the opportunity to lead it, it’s really pretty special.”

Hulsmeyer is in her third year with the program, first year as the head coach. She also coached on the college level, as well as various high schools around the city.

But there was a point when she had to take a break from the sport.

“I had my second child. I knew I was going to be out coaching and I was also still playing volleyball pretty competitively,” Hulsmeyer said. “So, in order to actually be back in shape for the next volleyball competition, I started doing a lot of weight training.”

Next thing you know, she got into competitive fitness and bodybuilding.

“I’m a very competitive person so I needed something to fuel that competitiveness,” she said.

At least one of her players knew about her bodybuilding past.

“You look her up and she is, like, huge!” Teeley laughed. “Like, I’ve never seen that side of Connie and it’s insane.”

Having competed in events, such as the Kentucky Muscle, one lesson she learned from that kind of training also translates well to volleyball.

“You learned to be very disciplined,” Hulsmeyer said. “So not just for me as a coach, but that’s what I hope I can convey to our players.”

There was another lesson the players learned indirectly.

“It just shows us the possibilities as female athletes. I respect her so much,” Teeley said. “I think she is gorgeous and I think it just shows, like, with our bodies and in practice, when we do harder drills, it’s more about conditioning and putting yourself in the best shape that you can and Connie is a good example of that.”

Next up for the Jaguars, they’re getting ready to head to Las Vegas for the Durango Fall Classic.

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