Volleyball: Building a Family


Grace Brigson, Assistant Editor


The West Salem volleyball program is undefeated in their conference for the 2019 season. For the past three years, the lady panthers have earned the title of conference champions, and have been nearly unstoppable. This new season, however, has brought some challenges. With losing seven seniors and gaining six new varsity players, the girls were given the chance to rebuild. The team still carries the “Family” mentality, but it has a whole new meaning this season.

The La Crosse Tribune did a story on the girls and how they thought the season was going so far. Junior Natalie Jeranek said to the tribune, “This year has been a regrouping year because we lost a lot of seniors. We knew it would be tough, but right now, everything is finally picking up, and we’re starting to play together and be there for each other.”

Jeranek has been a strong asset for the team, but this year freshman Jaden Hammes came into the picture. Together, Jeranek and Hammes are a dynamic duo. “Oh yeah, I have the jitters before every single game. It’s a lot different pace than I’ve had in years past,” said Hammes to the La Crosse Tribune. “My goal now is to come out and never have that one match where it’s just a slump because our goal is to come out and sweep.”

In his third year of successful coaching, Brett Thompson has two conference championships under his belt, and a family mentality that he carries with him in every practice and game. “Family is a key concept for our volleyball team,” Said Thompson. “Everyone needs to know that they have a unique roll on the team that only they can fill. Each year we have a different family and the definition changes a little due to the unique people the family gains.”

So far, the girls have not lost a conference game. They went 3-1 vs Luther, 3-1 vs Westby, 3-0 vs Black River Falls, 3-0 vs GET, 3-0 vs Luther and 3-0 vs Viroqua.  Their next match is set for Thursday, October 3rd at home, playing the Arcadia Raiders.