Respect each other on and off the court. That’s an important piece of advice that Westby head coach Jenny Luebke has given her players for the past 16 years at the start of the volleyball season.
“We will be the best team we can be if we work together as a team, have fun and work hard,” Luebke said. “We have a lot of work to do to get to the level of play that we need to be at to win.”
Westby ended the 2018 season 2-10 in the Coulee Conference and 10-20 overall.
“We have been working over the summer to improve on our skills as an individual player while also developing our team unity,” Luebke said. “We have to play together as a team and support each other to be successful. We graduated four seniors and they were all key factors...”
List key positions lost to 2019 graduates include:
- Elsa Luebke (right side and was then moved to outside hitter) was a consistent hitter and worked hard on the court. She was team captain and 2nd team all conference.
- Lauren Jacobs (defensive specialist) had good reads on the ball and was a good server.
- Kaitlyn Hooverson (setter) had a solid serve.
- Morgan Olson played right-side.
Top returning players are as follows:
- Eva Lee, senior, who played middle the last two years. Lee has played club ball and has good instincts on the floor. Luebke said she is a stellar server and works well across the net. “Eva needs to step into a leadership role on the team this year as it is her senior year.”
- Alayna Winterfield, senior, played middle. Luebke said she is good at blocking balls and has a great tip.
- Claire Griffin, senior, who played libero last season and was all-conference honorable mention. She is an aggressive player on the floor and is focused on doing what she needs to do to win the match for the team.
- Macy Stellner, junior, played outside last season. She has been working this summer on improving control on her swings. She has a hard it and can place the ball well, Luebke said.
- Jaylin Holte, junior, setter/right side. The coach said she has nice hands and also swings well on the ball when she plays front row.
“There are also many juniors who are stepping up to move into spots that have been opened by the graduating seniors,” Luebke said. “We also have sophomores who have been showing great improvement over the summer. We have a solid team of athletes.”
Luebke said Westby’s strength this season is she has a team that is comprised of athletic players who are competitive and driven to win.
Where are Westby’s weaknesses and biggest challenges?
“We will be a competitive team this season because of the drive to succeed that the younger players have. Many of these girls play varsity in other sports and know what it takes to be a varsity player. I have no worries about their competitive nature and their ability to step up to the challenge. We have girls returning from last year’s team who have experience at the varsity level and that will give us an edge this season that we did not have last season.”
Luebke said West Salem and G-E-T will be tough again this year and they will be top contenders.
“I believe we have a good chance at being near the top of the conference if we can gel as a team,” Luebke said. “We need to focus on team and not individual accomplishments. Teams can only succeed if the players are invested in their teammates successes not just their own accomplishments. The team needs to rise up as one. We want our best players on the court. The girls who have the skills for the particular position they are playing and the ability to step into the role they need to play for the betterment of the team.”
Luebke will be assisted by coaches Arena Kvamme (JV) and Mark Luebke (freshmen).