HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The Bob Jones volleyball program has been one of the most competitive in the state in the last decade.

They’ve made multiple playoff runs and brought home two state-runner-up titles in the last five seasons, but they have not brought home a state championship title since 2013.

For Bob Jones senior Rachel Mecklenburg, bringing home a state championship trophy would be icing on the cake for her in her final season.

In 2022, the Patriots fell to McGill Toolen in four sets in the 7A state finals. There’s no doubt that was heartbreaking for the Patriots, but Rachel is confident in her team making another state-run.

“Our team chemistry is the best I’ve ever had before, it’s just so much fun playing with the girls,” Rachel said.

She has been pulling up her knee pads since fifth grade when she fell in love with the game.

“Just the feeling you get after that good play and the connections you make,” Rachel said, “It’s just incredible, I love it so much!”

Now, she is hard to miss on the court, playing multiple spots for the Patriots.

“She’s just willing to do whatever we ask her to do,” Bob Jones volleyball head coach Jenny Jarrett, “We ask her to set she sets, we ask her to play in the middle she plays in the middle.”

This is Coach Jarrett’s second year leading the Patriots, and she says that seeing Rachel grow and watching her buy all-in to her coaching mentality has been amazing.

“As soon as I came in, she bought in immediately,” Coach Jarrett said, “This ear she’s been working really hard on setting and been providing for us in that way too.”

Rachel’s volleyball career won’t be done after this season, as she has committed to play at Wallace State after she graduates from Bob Jones.

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“I was just playing to play and then I just fell in love with the sport, and I couldn’t just end it here I had to keep going,” Rachel added.

Rachel and the rest of the Patriots are getting ready for their first game on Thursday, August 24.