Winter brings heat

Caitlynn Daniels, Sports Editor

New season, new team, same mindset. The Xavier girls’ volleyball team still has the same goal as last season: be the first volleyball team at Xavier to win a state championship. 

“We want to be the first volleyball team to hang a state championship banner,” Head Coach Austin Filer said. “It is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, to get to where we want to be.”

The Saints lost five seniors from last year’s team and have five new players in their rotation. One new addition to the team is junior, Elyse Winter, a 6’1 outside hitter.

“I transferred because Xavier gave me the opportunity to push myself academically and athletically,” Winter said.

Winter played club volleyball, sand volleyball and went to open gyms this summer to prepare for her first season as a Saint. 

“Elyse is a quiet leader. She is focused, hard-working and a learner,” Coach Filer said. “She is a dominant force at the net and has always been a strong blocker. She is growing as a passer and an out of system hitter.”

Winning a state championship is Winter’s main goal, but she wants to improve her individual game as well.

Junior Elyse Winter, pictured on the left, celebrates with teammates after scoring a point against Iowa City Liberty at Ron Thillen Gymnasium on Tuesday, August 27. Nick Ireland Photo.

“I hope to continue to develop every aspect of my game throughout the season,” Winter said. “If everyone works hard to get better and is competitive in every game, I believe we can have a very successful season.”

Winter also believes that their team chemistry could take them a long way.

“My favorite part of the team is that we all get along so well and everyone is driven. I also like how the coaches always push me to be the best I can be and I am constantly getting feedback from them,” Winter said.

Not only does Winter enjoy her new team, but her new school as well. 

“I love Xavier because everyone was so welcoming when I first came. I love how a lot of the teachers and students support each other in sports and other activities,” Winter said.

The Saints will next play in a tournament at Marion on      Saturday, September 21 starting at 9 a.m.