Wilton Volleyball: A Season to Remember


Coach Grunder talking to her team at State Volleyball 2019

For the second year in a row, Wilton Volleyball returned to the state tournament. Even though the outcome was not what they wanted, they still had an outstanding season. With a final record of 35 wins and 4 losses, they will be able to hold their heads high.

Throughout the season there were many memories made. Sophomore Courtney Bishop recounted, “My favorite memory was when we (the bench) got Coach Grunder to hit the Woah.” As the season went on, the bench tried to come up with fun things to do during the games to keep the energy alive. Hitting the Woah was one of them. 

Sisters, senior Taylor Garvin and sophomore Alexa Garvin, reminisced about their favorite memories. For Alexa, it was when her sister, Taylor, biffed it on the setpoint versus West Liberty. The funniest part about this is that the reason Taylor fell was because the floor was wet from Alexa diving there during a previous rally. Taylor said one of her favorite memories would be when she and Alexa got in an actual fistfight during practice. 

A shared favorite memory between multiple players would be from the dinner at Texas RoadHouse after the state quarterfinal game Wednesday night. While there, the players decided to tell the waiter that it was head coach, Brenda Grunder’s 21st birthday. For those who don’t know, Texas RoadHouse has whoever’s birthday it is sit on a saddle while the entire restaurant yells, “Yee-Haw.” According to some of the players, the funniest part was when Coach Grunder was handed a bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup, and her eyes lit up like a child at Christmas. 

For Coach Grunder, there were many memories made. The one that sticks out to her the most was a special moment between her and the players after winning the regional final and punching their ticket to state for the second year in a row. Coach Grunder was in the middle of an interview when the players rushed her into a group hug with the state banner. 

Angela Dann, an assistant volleyball coach, remembered all the way back to the first Fresh-Soph conference game against West Branch. Unfortunately, they lost the first set 18-25 but came back and won the second set 25-18. The third set, which only goes to 15, was a breeze for her fresh-soph girls as they, according to Coach Dann, “Took the lead and just went with it.” They won that set by a score of 15-8. 

Another assistant coach, Kelly Jannings, says that State Volleyball was her favorite memory, but it was so much more than that. According to Coach Jannings, “It’s all the hard work day in and day out to reach our goals. I enjoy every single day of practice with all the girls and the relationships that are made along the way.” Having a relationship with the players is important, and one of the best parts about being a coach. 

The 2019 Wilton Volleyball season was fun and eventful for volleyball players and community members alike. For some, these memories will be their last with the program as two seniors, Taylor Garvin and Kenzie Pallischeck, are graduating in the spring. As for the rest, there will hopefully be many more memories made with such a young team, as well as another successful season next year.