LA CROSSE, WI -

Despite losing last year's MVC Player of the Year, Aquinas is in contention for its first MVC volleyball title in five years.

Rachel Mazzola, who now plays at Gustavus Adolphus, graduated last spring, but her family name lives on. Her younger sister, Meghan Mazzola, starts for the Blugolds.

"Meghan's the little sister right now," Aquinas Head Coach Bri Ebenhoe said. "She's actually bringing some leadership qualities and the girls respect the way she plays, respect the way she hustles, and they just absolutely love having her on the team."

Those are lessons she's learned from her older sister.

"She and her sister are really close, so they try to talk and communicate about technique and things like that," Ebenhoe said.

"When I'm on the court, I try to be a leader like her as much as I can, and she's always loud and always talking, so I try to be like that," Mazzola said. "She's always telling me she's proud of me and everything, and I tell her I'm proud of her."