BISMARCK, N.D. — After the 2022 season, Shiloh Christian brought in a familiar face to lead the volleyball program in Lisa Wingerter, who was a co-head coach for the Skyhawks in the 2017-18 season. Since her return, she has put her touch on the program, while keeping a consistent and open line of communication with the athletes to ease the transition.
“It was a lot easier of a transition” Wingerter says. “It was pretty smooth. We changed a few things up. They had a couple of ideas that they wanted to do as well, that we’ve incorporated as well, so it was very smooth.”
“I think we all just wanted the same thing and I think the coach understood that we could be able to communicate to the coach and express what we wanted as a team and what our end goal was,” senior Dedra Wood adds.
A key for the Skyhawks this season has been there play in the middle on both offense and defense, aiding them to 27-8 regular season record.
“Our blocking has been very good this season and our hitters have done a really good job,” Wingerter says. “They’re really learning to be controlled and to keep the ball in.”
“We really have ahd time to work as individual hitters and setters, which has been a really good key piece that’s built our teamp up,” senior Tayva Upgren adds. “I think that’s part of the reason why we’ve had so much success on the floor is because we have taken that time to investin our hitters, and them investing into us too.”
This year’s Shiloh team is led by eight seniors, who have been praised for the efforts on and off the court to mentor the younger players in the program.
“The girls have been fantastic,” Wingerter says. “They’ve mentored the younger girls. Taken them under their wing. They’ve just been leaders on the court for them. they’ve shown great leadership and just christian stewardship for the program with doing our pink night, so they’ve done a really nice job with the younger girls.”
For the group of seniors, a key emphasis this season has been to be good leaders and role models for the younger athletes.
“I think it’s been a super exciting thing for me, especially,” Wood says. “I’ve had a really good time getting to know all the younger classmen and being able to help them develop and stuff like that. I think it’s just great because everyone has that one common goal, and that’s to get to the state tournament.”
“I think it’s really important for me, personally, to invest in the younger players because they will soon be our varsity team,” Upgren adds. “So, investing into that and helping them grow as well, has actually helped em grow too. That’s been a really cool opportunity.”
With regular season play in the books, the Skyhawks begin their quest for a state tournament berth in Underwood on November 6th in the Class B Region 5 Tournament.