By Dylan Wallace | The Tribune
The Lutheran Central School seventh grade volleyball team has been playing with one another since fifth grade, and the Saints put their chemistry on display Aug. 28.
They won the seventh grade Immanuel volleyball tournament by defeating St. John’s Sauers, Immanuel Lutheran School, St. Peter’s Columbus and St. Bartholomew Columbus all in the same day.
“They’re all very accustomed to playing with each other,” head coach Sarah Brown said.
The Saints’ first match was against Sauers, which is a rivalry game.
Lutheran Central won the first set, dropped the second, but then came back and won the third set to win the match.
“The girls never give up,” Brown said. “Losing a set doesn’t seem to bother them at all. They’re a great group of girls, they don’t ever give up on me and they love to play.”
The team is made up of nine players: Charli Garrison, Emma Sparks, Maddy Wischmeier, Jules Wessel, Addie Burcham, Emerson Warren, Marley Warren, Emma Lucas and Sammie Brown.
They play through the winter with club volleyball, so they’re used to being well-conditioned for tournaments like last Saturday where they need to play multiple games in a day.
“I would say a huge difference just over the summertime,” Brown said of their development. “From club ball this winter to school ball this fall, they’re all growing and getting stronger.”
Brown has been coaching off and on since 2000, and she started coaching again the past couple of years when her daughter, Sammie Brown, got to fifth grade.
Brown was a former player herself at Medora High School.
“I love the kids and love teaching them about the game,” she said.
She has been coaching these girls together since fifth grade, and the main key when coaching during a game is the mental side of it.
“You can definitely beat yourself,” Brown said. “I tell them your biggest opponent is yourself. As long as everyone knows their job and doesn’t get down on themselves, we’ll be good.”
Lutheran Central will be seeing all of the teams they played in the Immanuel tournament later on this season. The season will wrap up in the first week of October.
After winning the tournament, the Saints were given individual medals and a team trophy.
“That’s always the best feeling,” Brown said. “The girls all deserve it. They work very hard, and I’m proud of them. It couldn’t have ended any better.”