WORTHINGTON -- Though she doesn’t seem to want to compare her first year of college volleyball with her second, it’s probably fair to say that Emma Woelber is having much more fun in her second year.
Woelber, a Westbrook-Walnut Grove High School graduate, stepped away from her freshman season at Minnesota West Community and Technical College to get a better grasp on her career path. But then her sister, Grace, graduated from W-WG and chose to play with the Lady Jays.
Today, Grace is a freshman libero with the team and Emma is a sophomore setter. Not only are they enjoying their opportunity to play together again, they’re enjoying winning. The 2019 squad is deeper, more talented, and it’s winning consistently.
The Woelbers are key contributors. Both are excellent at floor coverage. They don’t necessarily hit the hard spike at the net, because they’re both built low to the ground. But they dig, they pass. They’re outstanding at keeping the ball off the floor, and they know how to get it to their teammates.
It may be instructive to know that Emma, who hopes to become a junior high school teacher after her college career ends, hasn’t been heard complaining about her little sister’s performances during Minnesota West matches this year. That has to be because Grace is doing her job well -- and Emma is the first to acknowledge that. She admitted that the two didn’t always see eye to eye while they were growing up and practicing their volleyball skills in the back yard. Sisters, you know.
The Globe interviewed Emma for a Drill episode recently in the midst of the college volleyball season. You can see the video online at www.dglobe.com. Here is a sample of the interview:
QUESTION: What’s it like playing college volleyball this year with Grace?
ANSWER: “Playing in high school with her was amazing, it was super fun. We always volleyed in the backyard, and I was like, ‘Grace, the pass always has to go right in my hands.’ She’s gotten really good at it over the years. In high school we did bicker a lot.”
QUESTION: So what’s with the year off during your college career?
ANSWER: “I came here during my freshman year. I took a year off just to figure things out about different career paths. And then they recruited my sister, and I thought that was a really good opportunity for me to play again.”
QUESTION: This Minnesota West volleyball team really seems to enjoy being together. So how would you best describe this team: Serious, or silly?
ANSWER: “Silly. It’s just the team chemistry we have. We’re all super outgoing. There’s not a single shy person in there. But then we also have our serious side.”