Erin Weibel never expected to be in this position.
Three years ago, Weibel played on the Natrona County junior varsity volleyball team before entering the starting rotation as a junior. Last year, the 5-foot-4 Libero was named Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year. On Saturday, Weibel wraps up her high school career at the Wyoming Coaches Foundation All-Star Volleyball Game.
“My freshman year, I didn’t expect to be here,” Weibel said after practice for the North team on Friday morning. “I was just one of those kids who played volleyball for fun and to stay active, but I never expected to be one of the stars.”
Weibel credits Natrona County head coach Adrian McNamee for helping her realize her potential on the volleyball court.
“During my freshman year, Coach Mac came along and she really pushed me to be better as a person and as a volleyball player,” Weibel said. “She really changed my love for the game and my skill level skyrocketed.”
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McNamee, however, is quick to praise Weibel for putting in the extra work needed to reach his potential.
“It’s easy to push a kid who’s ready to work hard,” McNamee said. “Every day Erin is one of the first to go through any type of conditioning that we have. She’s just a workhorse. She just has an internal drive and you just have to push her a little bit and she takes it and runs with it.
Weibel had 462 digs and 21 aces last season to help the fillies finish fourth at the state tournament. She will represent Natrona County once again on Saturday at Casper College’s Swede Erickson Thunderbird Gym before continuing her athletic and academic career at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.
“Erin just needed a little confidence at first and after that she blossomed,” McNamee said. “She’s one of those kids that you can have a frank conversation with and tell her what you need and she’s going to take it out there and do what she can with it. You can engage with her and she’s really responsive.
Although Weibel had other college offers, the decision to attend BHSU was easy. His grandparents, Ferne and the late Patrick Freiberg, both attended BHSU, where Patrick played on the football team.
In addition to playing volleyball for the Yellow Jackets, Weibel will also be doing pole vaulting and gut vaulting during the outdoor track season. She earned all-state honors in both events during her NC career.
“It’s always been part of our family history,” she admitted. “So continuing that legacy is great. And the fact that Black Hills State wanted me for both volleyball and track and field really pushed them up my list.
Follow sportswriter Jack Nowlin on Twitter @wyovarsity