In her fourth year as head coach for the Thunder, Brittany Smith is confident and enthusiastic about the culture of service and competitiveness she has fostered with her team.
“Our goal is to build culture and then add wins,” said Smith. “I want people to see something different when we are on the court. I want our opponents to see the servant leadership and competitiveness of our team in the way we play each game.”
The current seniors on the team were freshmen when Smith took over, and have only known her system and goals throughout their volleyball careers at Wheaton. A team built on service and communication, the Wheaton women’s volleyball team is now all on the same page and ready to overcome anything that comes their way during the season.
A homemade birthday card from last year’s squad is proudly on display in Smith’s office and was recently updated with a red magic marker by this year’s team to say, “Still on the same page.”
Looking forward, the Thunder face a stacked lineup of invitationals and ranked opponents from all over the midwest and around the country. This season, the women will compete against seven opponents in the top 25.
In November, their record will prove if they are truly operating on the same page. With a CCIW pre-seasoned rank of fifth, Smith is gunning for a top three place in the conference and hoping for multiple key wins against ranked opponents.
Although the Thunder strive for wins on the court, the dynamic of the team goes far beyond the court and into the classroom and community.
“The end goal is for the girls to take the skills of volleyball — their servant leadership and competitiveness — and translate that to every aspect of life,” said Smith.
The women’s volleyball team is working to set the tone not only for the CCIW, but for the Wheaton College student body as they seek greatness through servant-leadership. By season’s end, Smith hopes to “empower young women to use their gifts to glorify God through service and competitiveness.”
The Thunder kick off the season in St. Paul, Minn. at the Bethel Invitational where they will face Wartburg College and UW-Superior.