A new location...familiar success

     There are times when a transplant just won't 'take'.
     No matter whether you are talking about what happens in your garden...or what happens in your life...sometimes a change in 'venue' changes everything.
     Happily...this has NOT been the case for Mackenzie Balogh.
     Instead, the Kipling native continues to enjoy success with her new hockey team. Mackenzie and her team qualified for the US Nationals for the first time in that team's history
     Last fall, Mackenzie left for Minot State University. She was pleased to discover how quickly a new place could feel like home.
     "Minot is a great school. The class sizes are small so coming here didn't feel like that much of an adjustment. Because the classes are small, students get a lot of one-to-one time with instructors. You aren't just a number here."
     Mackenzie began playing for the Minot State University Girls Hockey Team. She notes that playing with her new team quickly felt like familiar ground as well.
     "At first, I didn't know what to expect. But, we've become really good friends...almost like a family really. That has really contributed to our success. There's no drama. We know each other...so we can work together well as a team."
     Kyle Volk, the coach for the girls team, agrees: "It's really been the chemistry between the girls on this team that has brought them this far. They really care about each other, and that has made the difference."
     This is Kyle's first year coaching the girls team. He notes that this year brought a significant turnaround for the team.
     "The girls were struggling. I helped them to develop a 'system' method of playing, that emphasized each players strengths while enabling them to succeed as a team."
     The team's success has brought them some much-deserved attention.
     "The team wasn't receiving tremendous support at the beginning,î observes Kyle. ìThat changed as the season went along and they achieved more and more success. It's good to see them finally getting some recognition for all of their hard work They definitely deserve it."
     Mackenzie was the top scorer at Nationals with 10 goals and 3 assists. She also made First Team ñ All Tournament. None of this came as a huge surprise to Kyle.
     "Mackenzie definitely found the net during Nationals. She is one of the superior players in the league. She's found her role within the team, and I expect she'll continue to excel in this role."
     Mackenzie acknowledges that she has found her 'niche'.
     "I really felt as though I had to step up and start scoring goals...and get the 'job' done."
     This season's success has left Mackenzie looking forward to the future.
     "It's been great...being a part of helping this team come up...and making a name for ourselves. I'm really looking forward to next year. We have a couple of new recruits coming on, and they look really good. We're going to have a tremendous team next year. I don't doubt that we'll be back at Nationals...and I wouldn't be surprised if we won."
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