Kirsch brothers love volleyball
Locals are or have played the sport in college
By Casey Krautkramer
Local high schools only offer girls high school volleyball, unlike in the Milwaukee area where larger high schools also have boys volleyball teams. The limitations on boys playing high school volleyball in this area didn’t prevent brothers Tyler and Taylor Kirsch of rural Edgar from eventually playing club volleyball in college.
The brother duos, which are sons of Tammy Kirsch and the late Tom Kirsch, developed a passion for playing volleyball after they graduated high school.
Tyler graduated from Edgar High School in 2013 and he then was a rightside hitter on the University of Wisconsin- Madison mens club volleyball team for three years, because it only took him three years to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering from UW-Madison. Tyler now lives on the United States Navy base in Bangor, Wash.
Taylor graduated from Edgar High School in 2016 and he’s spent the past four years playing outside hitter and most recently as a setter on the UWStout mens club volleyball team. He was president of his men’s club volleyball squad this past season and he’ll graduate this May with a degree in applied math and computer science from UW-Stout.
“The club volleyball season begins in January and it ends in April,” Taylor said. “We had an incomplete season this year, because it got cancelled before our conference tournament was held because of the coronavirus pandemic. Our team qualified for the national tournament but that also didn’t happen. For me personally, I was awarded college mens volleyball club president among all colleges that compete in the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference. I also made third team all conference this year.”
Women continue careers
Lexy Belter, who is the daughter of Joe Heil of Edgar and Audra Brooks of Athens, played four years of high school volleyball before she graduated from Athens High School in 2014. She chose to continue playing volleyball on the UW-Madison womens club volleyball team until she graduated with a degree in social work.
“I wanted to keep playing volleyball in college and I knew club volleyball would give me the perfect mix of having fun and being competitive while still allowing me to focus on my aca- demics,” Belter said.
During her senior year in college, her UW-Madison womens club volleyball team took third place at the national tournament in St. Louis, Mo. She was awarded honorable mention all conference as a setter. She now lives in Colby and works at the Taylor County Human Services Department.
Lexy’s stepsister, Kaitlyn Brooks, graduated from Athens High School in 2018 and she played one season on the UW-Stevens Point womens club volleyball team. She didn’t play volleyball this season because she is only taking one credit at UW-Stevens Point while she completes her nursing degree at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau. Kaitlyn is the daughter of Ben and Audra Brooks of Athens. Amanda Kind, who is the daughter of Keith and Valerie Kind of Marathon, began playing on the UW-La Crosse womens club volleyball team during her freshman year after her older sister, Emily Kind, introduced her to some of her friends who played on the college’s club volleyball squad. Amanda played four years of high school volleyball before she graduated from Marathon High School in 2017.
She served as president of her UWLa Crosse womens club volleyball team this season, which tied for first place in the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference with a 15-2 record. Amanda was awarded Most Valuable Player in the conference as a junior middle hitter this season. Her team qualified for the national tournament, which was supposed to take place in Kansas City, Mo., before the coronavirus outbreak took place.
Amanda is majoring in political science and minoring in legal studies at UW-La Crosse. She wants to attend law school in the future.
Justin Drews, the daughter of Dan and Susan Drews of Stratford, played four years of high school volleyball before she graduated from Stratford High School in 2015. She was an outside left hitter during her first two years she attended UW-Stevens Point. She was team captain during her sophomore year. She graduated with degree in clinical laboratory science from UW-Stevens Point.