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The Miracle Season might make for the perfect end-of-season outing for women’s volleyball teams this spring. But the appeal goes well beyond that. As the credits began to roll I overheard a preschool moviegoer beg her mother to stay to see it again.

Filled with girl power, volleyballs, and opportunities for tears, The Miracle Season is based on a true story. In 2011 the Iowa City West High School girls’ volleyball team won the state championships. Their hopes for winning it a second year were dashed when their key player Caroline “Line” Found (Danika Yarosh) died tragically at the start of the new season.

The story unfolds as coach Kathy Bresnahan (Helen Hunt) pulls her girls out of the depths of their grief to believe they might be able to play as a winning team again. While the girls play through a nail-biting season in honor of Line, their coach comes to the realization that they still need to “play for the joy of volleyball” in order to truly excel.

Sean McNamara (Soul Surfer) directs a steady, albeit predictable movie. Erin Moriarty is strong in her lead as Caroline’s friend, Kelly. William Hurt, cast as Caroline’s father, is less than convincing, whereas Hunt offers strength and authenticity in her role as coach.

The movie is based on a book by the same title written by now-retired coach Bresnahan and released earlier this year. Stay for the credits to see the photographs and video on which the movie is based. (LD Entertainment)

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