Westby Norse Volleyball Team

Members of the 2017 Westby volleyball team are (front, from left) Kiarra Keenlance, Kenzie VonRuden, Michaela Grabowski, Lauren Berg, Miranda DelMedico, Jada Berra, and Jessica Marshall. Row 2: Katie Wollman, Eva Lee, McKenna Manske, Chloe Stellner, Molly Stenslien, Elsa Luebke, Kaitlyn Hooverson, Lauren Jacobs, Morgan Olson, Alayna Winterfield, and Estelle Fischer-Fortney. Row 3: Alexis Ellefson, Jaylin Holte, Nicole Klum, Sedona Radke, Olivia Nelson, Grace Bendel, Mattie Wood, Erin Simonson, and Macy Stellner. Row 4: Emma Nelson, Lydia Evenstad, Isabella Nedland, Teagan Rooney and Abby Harris. Missing from photo: Claire Griffin, Nichole Dahl

Win as a team, lose as a team. That’s an important piece of advice that Westby head coach Jenny Luebke has given her girls for the past 14 years at the start of the volleyball season.

“You work hard to be your best, but you have to play the game as a team, win or lose,” Luebke said.

Westby ended the 2016 Coulee Conference season with an 10-2 record and 22-7 overall. They graduated two strong senior volleyball players, Chelsea Olson and Macy Holte.

Chelsea Olson (middle hitter) was a 1st Team All-Coulee Conference player, the team’s kill and points leader, and tied for the most block kills with incoming senior Michaela Grabowski.

Macy Holte (setter) led the team in assists, was a positive force on the floor, could rally the girls to win, and earned Honorable Mention All-Coulee Conference.

This year’s Westby Area High School volleyball team has a solid mix of returning starters and incoming varsity level players. They have experience and depth, both key components to a successful season.

Returning to the Norse force are seven of last year’s varsity players.

Michaela Grabowski (middle) earned 1st Team All-Coulee Conference last season and tied for block kills. She knows the game and likes to dominate the net, which makes her intimidating.

Jessica Marshall (outside) earned 2nd Team All-Coulee Conference. She is a quiet leader, has a strong swing, finds the open spots on the court, and communicates well with her teammates.

Jada Berra (libero) earned 2nd Team All-Coulee Conference. She has a great serve, is quick in the back row and moves well to dig up hard hit balls.

Miranda DelMedico (back) will be returning to the back row with Berra. She is a leader on the floor, has great court sense and has stepped up to make this switch.

Kenzie VonRuden (outside) is starting in a new position as an outside hitter. She has developed her approach and will be in this spot.

Lauren Berg (setter) knows the court, has a great serve and communicates with the coaches well.

Kiarra Keenlance (setter) is starting in a new position. She is quick on the floor and has nice hands.

“The girls have to earn their spot on the floor just like every other sport. We need to trust our teammates and keep a positive attitude on the court,” Luebke said.

The Coulee is a tough and competitive conference. Luebke envisions West Salem to be in top form again, but said after finishing second in the conference last year the Norse are hungry to sit on top.

“These girls are driven to succeed and are determined to win,” Luebke said.

Luebke and assistant coaches Arena Kvamme (JV) and Amber Coe (Freshman) are looking forward to a competitive year on the court.

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Dorothy Robson is editor of the Westby Times. Contact her at 608-637-5625.

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