No regrets: Roland-Story's Geise wants to end her final season of high school volleyball with a bang

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Roland-story senior setter Madison Geise wants to make the most of her final season in a Norse volleyball uniform this fall. Geise is an all-state performer and the school record holder for assists.

Madison Geise never likes it when volleyball season ends.

Her mother, Molly Geise, has been coaching volleyball since before she was born. Geise grew up following her mom around during practices and matches at Roland-Story.

She developed an endearing passion for the game and always wanted to be part of her mother's teams.

"She has always been the kid that tagged along," Molly Geise said. "She's been kind of my assistant coach since she's been little. It's kind of crazy how volleyball has become a big part of all of our lives."

One year when she was in elementary school, Geise refused to accept a Roland-Story loss in regionals. 

"She said, 'Mom, what are we gonna do?'" Molly Geise said. "'The season is over!'"

Dejected, Geise made her mom stay with her in the gym well after everyone else had cleared out. 

"She and I played volleyball until about midnight," Molly Geise said. "We were so sad and didn't want to leave. Then I was like, she's got to get up and go to school tomorrow! I'll never forget that."

Fast forward to today and Geise is getting ready to enter her final season playing volleyball for Roland-Story.

Geise is already the most decorated setter in program history. She set the school record for career assists when she was just a sophomore.

"She's insane," Roland-Story middle blocker Reagan Barkema said. "Half the time I don't think she's going to get to a ball and she gets it up in a perfect spot for our hitters to hit it."

In her freshman year Geise handed out 876 assists for a Roland-Story team that finished 30-8. As a sophomore she dished out 650 to help her team go 29-11 and last year she distributed 539 in just 31 matches to help the Norse finish 23-8 and win their first outright Heart of Iowa Conference title since 2005.

"I have the height to be a hitter, but like with all my other sports I love to touch the ball every play," Madison Geise said. "I love to be a part of every single play. I honestly find more joy in getting the ball to people and having them kill it." 

Roland-story setter Madison Geise (right) has great chemistry with Norse middle blocker Reagan Barkema as they enter their senior season of high school volleyball.

Geise has a knack for finding the ball and the ability to accurately tap it to a teammate. She will produce a perfect set nearly every play, even if she's stumbling around or falling down to get a touch on the ball.

"She's got big feet," Barkema jokingly said. "Monday we were at South Hardin for a scrimmage and she ran all the way to the outside and slipped on the ground. She was falling all over the court trying to get back to her setter spot. It was kind of funny to watch her run around like a chicken with its head cut off." 

Geise was an all-state performer last season. She is following in the footsteps of her older sister MaKayla, who graduated in 2018 and was an all-state outside hitter for the Norse.

"Following my sister I saw what it was to be great," Geise said. "I got to play with her one year and that was awesome. We'd go into the gym together and it was nice for me to be able to set her and work with her."

Even though setting is her specialty, Geise is far from being a one dimensional player. Last year she also recorded 161 digs, 153 kills, 28 blocks and a team-high 48 aces on 94 % serving accuracy.

"I like being able to kill it," Geise said. "Growing up I was able to practice a lot of things. I guess it's a little bit like a secret weapon. It makes us more versatile as a team."

As much talent as Geise has, it's her intellect on the court that really separates her from most players on the court.

Madison Geise (right) has been like a coach on the floor for her mother Molly's Roland-Story volleyball team as she enters her senior season.

"I'm finding out that when she's gone next year I'll have a lot more work to do myself as a coach because we've talked about the game forever," Molly Geise said. "When she's on the court I don't tell her what to do or what to run. We talk about things at home, but I really don't have to train her. She's just the director out there and takes away a lot of the stuff I have to do."

Geise's future plans are undecided at the moment. 

"I love the game, but I've just been going with what's going to make me happy in the future," Geise said. "If that's volleyball, that's volleyball." 

Right now she's putting all her focus on making her final Roland-Story team as good as it can be.

"After losing a lot of people from last year we've made great improvements every single day," Geise said. "With Reagan and I playing four years I think we just have this great connection and we're all really good friends — I love everybody."

She wants her final run to last as long as it can.

"Give it your all and don't have any regrets," Geise said. "I want to go out with a bang."