For The Tribune
The biggest draw to volleyball for Chelsea Stroub is the teamwork it takes to be successful.
“I just like the teamwork and just working together,” the Trinity Lutheran head volleyball coach said. “They are a bunch of girls, almost like sisters. When I was playing, that is what I kind of had, my sisters. You’re close. You’re with them probably from about June to the end of October. Sometimes, you play club with them year-round, so it’s just a big family.”
Stroub graduated from Seymour High School in 2009 and was named the Owls’ most valuable volleyball player her junior and senior years.
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She graduated from University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky, in 2013, where she had an outstanding college career.
She was a four-year starter, team captain her junior and senior years and was named to the Mid-South Conference first team her sophomore, junior and senior years.
Stroub also received several MSC libero of the week awards throughout her career and made academic first team all-conference each year.
Stroub just completed her fifth season coaching volleyball at Trinity Lutheran.
She coached the “C” team for one year and coached the junior varsity for one season before becoming head coach in 2015.
Under Stroub, the Cougars have won three straight sectionals.
Stroub said each sectional title is special.
“It’s very special every single time, and they’re all different,” she said. “The excitement is just awesome each year.”
There were 12 girls on the roster at the end of the season, with half of those being freshmen. Because of low numbers, Trinity was unable to play JV matches at the end of the season.
Stroub said she would like to see the number of players increase.
“We have a lot of talent, just a lot of athletic girls that want it,” she said. “What’s hard to teach is the heart of it, so a lot of these girls really want it and have the heart and passion to want to win.
“We definitely want to have more players. We always want to have a JV team, and the first year I was here, there was even a C team, so we’d love to have that.”
Making up the volleyball coaching staff at Trinity this fall were Mike Wineinger, Hannah Barker and Aaron and Kendra Knieriem.
Wineinger has coached at Scottsburg and at Trinity, Barker played at Trinity and at Indiana University Southeast, Kendra was a head coach at Seymour and Aaron was a head coach at Crothersville.
Stroub said those coaches have been a big help to her.
“We work really well together,” she said. “Everybody has their own knowledge about different key aspects of the game, so we just kind of all talk, communicate, work together and see what’s best for this team because having more eyes is better than just one.”
Stroub said she has taken ideas from her high school coach, Angie Lucas, her college coach, club coaches and advice from the current assistants and applied those ideas to things she does.
“You take stuff from each coach,” she said. “You learn as a player, and now as a coach, I can take from each one of those, as well. They each brought a different thing to the table.”
The Cougars played in the Loogootee Regional this past Saturday.
“It was very fun to coach in the regional,” Stroub said. “This year, it was a little different. In the past, we played on a Tuesday in the regional, and this year, we played both games on Saturday, so that was different. We’re excited about the format because we’ve got the whole week to plan and strategize and work for the weekend.”
Trinity strengthened its schedule this fall by playing Class 4A schools Providence, Floyd Central and Franklin, plus Seymour and Jennings County in the Cougar Cup, and Class 3A schools Madison and Brownstown Central.
“We toughened up our schedule,” Stroub said. “We had been playing smaller schools, and we played well against them, but it’s not really helping us for the tournament, so we said we’re going to beef up our schedule and it should help us in the postseason, and that’s what this is all about.”
She said she makes the girls work hard in practice but at the same time enjoy it.
“We try to keep the practices a little different every day so it’s not just the same thing over and over and the girls get bored with it,” Stroub said. “They’re 14-, 15-, 16-, 17-year-old girls, so doing the same thing repetitive is going to get boring, so we try to keep it interesting and do some fun things here and there.”
She said club ball has helped high school programs stronger.
“Some of them go to Indy, some go to Louisville and to Union in New Albany,” Stroub said. “Club ball has definitely made high school ball better. A lot more girls are playing club ball, a lot more girls are sticking to one sport and focusing on it year-round, so I think it has improved for sure.”