Charger spikers adapting to new coach again, but team finding success as season winds on

Genna Foster, Staff writer

Not all high school sports teams – and athletes for that matter – can say they have had a different coach every year, but the girls on the volleyball team at St. Joseph High School can. This year’s graduating class will have had to experience a new coach every season. For some, this would be a challenge or burden on their playing, but the Lady Chargers never saw it as a negative.

This year the Chargers welcomed Laura Witteman, who has been coaching the sport for years now and played collegiately herself. She brings a new outlook on the game for the ladies, and has wonderful help from her coaching assistants – Charles Kelly and Reda Witteman.

“I love coaching the girls at Saint Joe’s. We have a lot of talent and potential and the girls are really nice to work with. They are very coachable,” said Witteman on her feelings towards the team so far.

Not only is there a new coaching staff, but with the loss of five starters from last year, the team appears different as well. This has not affected the team one bit, credits can be given to the leadership of the three captains – Genna Foster, Kayla Domio and Allison Grengs.

“I think the team has adjusted well to our new coach. It was really difficult going from the coach we had last year to our now because they have completely different teaching methods. We have transitioned well into our new roles,” said Grengs.

With five starters gone and many new faces to the game, the chargers knew it was going to take some getting used to. So far in the season the team has had a very smooth, drama-free season.

“Our team is very close. We have learned to play off of each other’s strengths rather than weaknesses, which makes us a stronger team,” said Domio.

With the new coaching staff, the team has many goals they are reaching for this season. Some including communicating on the court better, working hard in every practice, and supporting one another all the time. The major goal the three captains and Witteman want to accomplish is making it to the Regional Championship in late October.

“One goal I have is to instill a love of the game of volleyball to all our players,” said Witteman. “We would love to be in a regional final this season and go on to win it!”

The Lady Chargers are currently 9-9 and just a few games left in the regular season including matchups like Resurrection, St. Francis De Sales, and Proviso East. After that, the team plans to prepare hard for the IHSA State tournament, and see how far they can make it!