HELENA — Carroll College senior volleyball player Madi Quick was preparing herself for her final season.

Even as the coronavirus pandemic circled the nation, she remained optimistic.

But her worst fear came to fruition. She got a text from her coach, Moe Boyle, saying they needed to have an emergency meeting.

“I was with one of my friends and I had a feeling what it was about,” Quick said. “It wasn’t until the (Zoom) meeting started that I started to break down.

“I had 10 minutes or so to wrap it up and say goodbye.”

Boyle explained to her team that the Frontier Conference would be moving the volleyball season to the spring. The move was done to accommodate all schools after Providence decided that students would spend the fall semester taking classes online.

For Quick’s teammates, the news was just an inconvenience. They were eventually going to have a season.

But for Quick, it was the end. Her volleyball career was over.

“I had to process that I wasn’t going to get one more season, one more game or even one more practice,” Quick said. “These were memories I won’t get to have with these girls and I’ve been here now five years.”

During her freshman season, Quick decided in the spring that she needed to take an extra semester of classes. Her ultimate goal was to be a physician assistant. That would have worked out great, since she redshirted her freshman season and volleyball was a fall sport.

But she was the only player on the roster set to graduate this winter.

“I love volleyball. I wish I could stay that extra semester but, in my mind, I have to start working toward the rest of my future,” Quick said. “There are PA school hours, getting a job full time - it would set me back more taking more classes (at Carroll).”

Quick wants to finish her master’s, pass the PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam) and return to Helena. This is, after all, her hometown.

“I want to explore a bit, but this is where my family is,’ Quick said. “This is a great place to live.”

Loving volleyball

Quick made her first digs in middle school. Standing at 5-foot-1, the libero was a three-sport athlete, also playing basketball and softball.

But volleyball was more than a game for her. It was a thrill.

“I love diving all over the floor and trying to make a save,” Quick said.

And it was her favorite, even though when she got into high school, Helena Capital was mediocre.

“I was a state champion in basketball and we took fourth at state in softball but volleyball just stuck with me,” Quick said.

But she became a leader on the back line and soon caught Boyle’s eye.

“She had a natural ability to find the ball,” said former Capital coach Hollee Goody said. “She could read people perfectly and knew where they were going to hit the ball.”

Quick finished as the school’s all-time leader in career digs, digs in a season and digs in a march.

It wasn’t long before she realized that she wanted to play at the next level. She decided to play for her hometown college, trading in the brown and yellow for purple and gold.

“I just loved her spunk and she had a tremendous leadership style,” Boyle said.

Time at Carroll

Quick didn’t find championships while at Carroll, but thrived on the court.

She appeared in every match her redshirt freshman, sophomore and junior seasons, and finished with a combined 741 digs. She also converted 96 percent of her serves.

“She got a lot of kids to believe in themselves a little more than they would have otherwise,” Boyle said. “She is an unbelievable role model.”

Quick lost her senior season.

She will leave Carroll with her degree on a path to be a physician assistant but will always have volleyball close to her heart.

Even though there may be some unfinished business.

“I could always play one more game,” Quick said. “I don’t think that will ever change.”

Ryan Kuhn covers Carroll College athletics and high school sports for the Independent Record and 406mtsports.com. Follow him on Twitter at @rskuhn

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