WINSIDE – Along with a road jamboree this week and an inter-squad scrimmage next week, the Winside volleyball team is preparing for the start of the 2022 season.
Winside Wildcat volleyball players took part in weights and conditioning over the summer with a few open gyms.
Teresa Watters has been the head coach for over 15 years and said the team gained much knowledge from their three-day team camp in Seward.
“Probably one of the best team camps that we have attended,” said Watters. “It’s a really good opportunity for us to kind of do a lot of team bonding, skills together as a team. So, it was a really great camp that we had this summer at Concordia.”
Joining coach Watters as the head assistant is Rachelle Rogers-Spann with volunteer assistant Alex Watters and student coach Jake Bargstadt.
During the first week of official NSAA practices, the Wildcats have been preparing for the upcoming season and will have a strong senior group of leaders directing this team toward the goals for the season.
Winside volleyball will be made up of 14 players which include three seniors
“Hannah Gubbels, Micah Stenwall and Jake Bargstadt,” Watters added. “Hannah and Micah were six-rotation players for us last year. Jake is one of our student assistant coaches. All three add so much to our team as far as their knowledge base and their skills. So, that’s exciting that we have a strong senior core group returning.”
Hannah Gubbels played some outside and more libero for Winside last year while showcasing her strong leadership at the start of the season. Stenwall swings with her left and played outside or right side as the coaching staff is looking forward to her experience on the court this season. Bargstadt has been with the program since he was in elementary school and brings great experience, knowledge and skill to the game. His leadership also has been a strong driving force in the Winside volleyball program for several years.
Other upperclassmen returning are juniors Natalie Kruger who was the setter as well as outside/right side hitter last season and Randee Haase who was a middle hitter last year along with incoming sophomores who saw some major court time last year being Skye Schultz as middle hitter and Samantha Gubbels as a defensive specialist.
Following a slow start to the season in 2021, the Wildcats began last year 1-8 before finishing with an 8-21 overall record.
Winside will visit Wakefield for a jamboree on Thursday, August 18 at 5:30 p.m. along with an inter-squad scrimmage in Winside being planned for next week.
The Winside coaching staff is looking to make their game faster with a quick offense being ran with the athletes within the program. The program is striking for consistency.
Coach Watters mentioned the leadership has been over and above provided by the upperclassmen being positive and energetic leaders in the gym.
“That we encourage to hopefully see throughout the whole season,” Watters mentioned. “They just have a great amount of knowledge and skill set that we’ve seen them kind of really gravitate towards our younger players in age or in skills set and have really worked hard at getting them to understand some of the skills that we’re working on.”
After a week and a half of official practices, Winside could be looking at a younger starting line-up.
The regular season will get underway on Thursday, August 25 when Winside hosts Creighton starting at 6 p.m. The Wildcats will also compete in the four-team Randolph Quadrangular on Saturday, August 27 with matches beginning at 9 a.m.