BILLINGS -- The Billings West volleyball team has quite a different look than last season.
All-conference hold-overs Kaitlin Grossman and Taylor Graham, the lone senior, are still leading the Golden Bears, but half of their varsity roster is comprised of freshmen.
“I put them on the floor because I knew they could do it, and I’m very proud of all of them," Billings West head coach Monica Grimsrud said. "It’s tough to step on to a varsity court as a freshmen, but they stepped up. They have great upperclassmen that are there supporting them the whole way.”
West is off to a 4-0 start, including a five-set win over crosstown rival Billings Senior, but there’s going to be some bumps in the road as the young roster gains experience.
“They’re all the hardest workers I’ve every met," Graham said. "They push our team so much. We all are trying so hard to compete with each other, and I think that’s really helping us become better and bond.
“There’s a lot more breaking things down in practice and trying to make sure systems, why we run those systems, getting those systems consistent, which is not something we’ve had to focus on with upperclassmen as much in previous years, but they work hard and listen really well and they want to play, so it’s been awesome," said Grimsrud.
Whether it’s 2020 or in the near future, Billings West is going to be a problem for Class AA volleyball teams.
“I think we can go anywhere, and then them taking the team the next four years having them, I think that’s going to be insane. I’m just happy I get to be a part of it this year," Graham said.
“They soak up everything I give them in practice," Grimsrud said. "Just from day one to the last practice that we had, I’ve seen huge, huge improvements. Every single day they all come and they want to get better. If we keep doing that, sky’s the limit for them."