By: Alina Frey
The Frederick Community College women’s volleyball team sits on top of its division with a record of 9-5 and has pulled together as a team despite starting off the season without a coach.
Although that start of the season was a bit rocky, these women have grown immensely as a team and have continued to better themselves.
The team leads the National Junior College Athletic Association Division 2 and is looking forward to a post-season tournament in November at the College of Southern Maryland. The team managed to pick up a home win against Community College of Beaver County on Sunday October 28th, leading the score 3-0.
The six-member squad began the season in August without a coach, training themselves and relying on substitute coaches until Patti Westenberg took on the role after the second game in September. The volleyball team has thrived due to the leadership skills that each player contributes.
Head Captain Lesley Pamer, who is a full time leader of the volleyball team.
“At the end of the day, I feel like we are all leaders on the court,” Pamer said.
Pamer, who is a sophomore at Frederick Community College, majoring in elementary education, is looking to transfer next fall to an undecided school. Pamer is also currently in the process of talking to some of the biggest and competitive colleges in Division 2.
“We started off just like any other team with a lot of improvements. It was a rough start at the beginning,” Pamer said.
Coach Westenberg, head coach of the women’s volleyball team is also a full-time mom. Originally from Warren Michigan, Westenberg began coaching right after high school in 2000.
“I had a wonderful group of coaches and teachers and I was inspired by them to go into coaching and education myself,” Westenberg said.
During her years as a player and coach, volleyball player development and pace of the game has evolved and Westenberg feels she has been able to adapt to the changes in the game as well as to grow as a coach in order to understand what is valuable about each player’s skills.
Westenberg has her Master’s Degree in art education, and therefore uses it to benefit each player’s unique techniques in the way they can perform at best.
In the future, the coach is planning to lead dedicated programs in where she can help player’s academics and athletics education.
“I require my teams to have fun and play hard!” Westenberg stated strongly in the interview.
The FCC volleyball players come from all over Frederick County, discovering each other’s techniques and skills of the sport. The women can get the most out of their former coaching that has been the strength for them this season.
Westenberg shares that Kierra Shaffer and Jacqueline Ryan bring in the heat with their dynamics in the sport and receive a ton of sets because of it. Maddie France, who is a right-sided hitter, has dominated her swings that are quite hard to defend. Elise Wilson, middle hitter is another key player for the team this season. Wilson attacks the ball completely different from the other players.
Jacqueline Ryan, a freshman outsider hitter, plans to transfer and pursue her major in prelaw and political science. She started playing in sixth grade at Mount Airy Christian Academy, then transferred to Linganore High School to finish up her high school years in volleyball.
“I am definitely looking forward to pursuing my volleyball career if an opportunity arises, but for right now, I’m just playing for fun.” Ryan said.
While at Linganore, Ryan had some offers to play volleyball at Morgan, Shepard and Wingate State University, but she decided to play for FCC since the school was much closer to home and had lower tuition. Ryan is in third place in her kills-per-set and 40th in the nation.
“If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Ryan refers to this quote by a number one NASCAR driver, Ricky Bobby, whenever she steps her foot on the court.
Photo Courtesy: Alina Frey