NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — This week’s Cardi’s Furniture & Mattresses Hometown Sports Hero is Ella Maack.

The reigning First Team All-State pick helped North Kingstown bring home its second-straight Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL) Division I volleyball crown, the sixth in the last seven seasons.

“She took over the reigns as a sophomore, put us through an undefeated season that year,” said Skipper head coach Brian Garrepy. “Unfortunately, we bowed out to a good South Kingstown team in the semis. But since then, it’s really been her opportunity to quarterback this team and she really came into her own in these last two seasons. [I’m] super proud of how she led the group this year.”

The senior class carried the torch for the program, which has 12 Division I volleyball crowns, the second-most in state history.       

“It’s been an amazing season,” Maack said. “This is one of the greatest groups of girls I’ve ever played with. It’s such an incredible experience, and we’re all so close and every practice is so fun, and game days are so fun. It’s been such a great way to end.”

The championship celebration was especially big in the Maack home, thanks to Ella’s Dad, Cory, who has been a long time Skipper assistant. His instruction from a young age has helped Ella reach her full potential on the court.

“Since fourth grade, she’s been around these events, so the IQ level is paramount to anything else,” Garrepy said. “She sets the ball high and quick off the hands, but just a really high IQ. That’s what sets her apart.”

“It’s definitely been a little bit of a joking relationship, but he definitely has high expectations for me, and I think I’ve always worked towards his expectations,” Maack said. “It’s been nice to have. I’m so close to him, so it’s nice to have him on the bench cheering me on from the sidelines, and he’s been the best teacher I’ve had in the sport, so it’s been awesome.”

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