Grove senior libero Kelsey Henderson keeps her eyes on the ball as she prepares to dig in during a Sept. 5 Southern Lakes Conference meeting with visiting Burlington. Henderson surpassed the school digs record last weekend (Jason Arndt/Southern Lakes Newspapers).

Senior libero contributes to Broncos’ defeat of ranked opponents

By Tim Wester

Kelsey Henderson is proud to own the career digs record for the Union Grove girls volleyball team.

But the 4-year varsity libero has just as much pride being the originator of the Broncos’ vaunted pre-game line dancing ritual.

Before every match, Henderson and her teammates perform the Chattahoochee on the court in front of the opposing teams and fans.

The Broncos did plenty of dancing last weekend, finishing third at the 24-team Lynn LaPorte Sprawl at West Bend East High School. Along the journey, Henderson broke Kelly Becker’s record of 1,692 digs with her first dig on Saturday.

The Broncos then beat eighth-ranked Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels 25-10, 25-20 and fourth-ranked Brookfield Central 25-18, 25-20 Saturday to advance the Gold Bracket.

In the semifinals, the Broncos lost to second-ranked Arrowhead 21-25, 25-14, 15-9 before beating seventh-ranked Appleton North 22-25, 25-19, 15-8 in the third-place match. The Broncos finished 3-1 against state-ranked teams in the tournament.

“This was the best finish we have had ever at this tournament,” Union Grove coach Anne Sireno said. “It was a great team effort.”

Henderson led the way for the Broncos with 68 digs in the tournament to push her record total to 1,731. Karlee Lois also had 129 assists, while Olivia Dir had 60 kills and 65 digs, and Bailey Berger had 35 kills for the Grove.

“It’s really unbelievable that I was able to reach this record,” Henderson said. “I’m grateful to be able to leave a mark at Union Grove, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my teammates and coaches.”

“I knew I was pretty close,” she added. I tied it on Friday and then broke it with my first dig Saturday.”

Henderson’s impact in the tournament and the Union Grove program has already left an impression with Sireno.

“Kelsey has definitely made a huge impact at Union Grove,” Sireno said. “She is a phenomenal leader on and of the court and takes charge in matches by encouraging positivity when things are tough.”

Another aspect of Henderson’s leadership is her dancing.

“We actually line dance before games to Chattahoochee before every volleyball game, so we are known for line dancing,” said Henderson who will attend Iowa State to pursue an Agricultural Business degree. “I came up with the idea to dance. I show animals at the fair and the team said that’s our country girl and wanted learn how to line dance.”

To read the entire story, see the Oct. 4 edition of the Westine Report.