After years of dedication, Wonewoc-Center Volleyball establishing winning culture

When you hear successful teams at high levels talk about what allows their success to happen, you’ll probably hear something about people buying into a culture or mentality to elevate themselves and each other.

It may sound cliche, but Wonewoc-Center volleyball will make you believe.

Just two years ago, Wolves volleyball went 6-12. This year, they’re 23-4 and co-conference champions for the first time since 2005.

Conference player of the year sophomore Kelsey Justman brings the power at outside hitter, older sister Shelby anchors right side as a left-hander, and Nicole Totzke hits from the middle. The offense is so good that setter Jaelyn Stowe already has over 1,000 career assists as a sophomore.

Coach Nikki Justman was on her own conference champion team in ’92, and she says these girls have the intensity and commitment on the court that she’s been hoping for since starting as coach six years ago.

Now that everyone’s bought into the new winning culture, the Wolves find themselves just two wins away from their first-ever State appearance.

“Couple of years ago, there’d be some not team mentality,” Shelby Justman said. “We didn’t play as a team. We played for ourselves. It was weird. Now we’re playing for a team, on a team. These girls are sweet. I love these girls.”

“It’s awesome to see how many people come to support us and give all their might to just helping us get energized on the court,” said Totzke.

“When we won the regional championship, they had to add a whole new board with years. That was our motto–add a board,” head coach Justman said. “Now that we’re done with regionals, we need to add another board.”

“Of course my goal is always the next game, take care of the next game,” said Kelsey. “But that’s always something that’s always been a dream of mine. Conference has been a dream of mine, regionals has been a dream of mine, and now it’s just like I feel like they’re coming true, and I just want to keep going.”

They’ll face co-conference champion Bangor Thursday in Cashton for the sectional semifinals.