Kim Grycel met with each one of her players before Lynden Christian's season began. She asked each a straight-forward question: Who do you see as a leader on the team?
"Everyone one of them said Madison (Weg)," Grycel said. "Without hesitation, just Madison."
Weg, a 6-foot-1 junior setter and outside hitter for Grycel, has helped guide the Lyncs to a 17th-consecutive Class 1A State Championship berth after Lynden Christian defeated Forest Ridge in straight sets in the Class 1A Tri-District volleyball tournament on Saturday, Nov. 9. The Lyncs open up the state tournament against Connell at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, in Yakima at the SunDome.
Height and presence notwithstanding, Weg knew coming into the season that her mentality had to change. Although analytical in nature, the girls on the team keyed off her, and she's been mindful of that throughout the season.
"You can't stay (with) mistakes because then that will show on the court, and you don't want that to show when you are trying to lead on the court," Weg said. "If my face shows when I'm down, then usually the whole team gets down."
The Lyncs are set to leave for Yakima on Thursday, with their final practice at Lynden Christian being Wednesday, and the girls decided to bid farewell to the court with smears of eye black beneath their eyes. It's a statement, Weg said, about the team's demeanor going in to state.
"Football players that wear eye black are tough and aggressive, and we want to be like that," Weg said. "Just go in with that aggressive, eager fashion."
Her role on the team is unique. Grycel has rarely seen a girl in her program be able to split time between both setting and outside hitter, but then again, Weg has always been a bit different, said Grycel, who has coached her since the eighth grade.
"As soon as she was a freshman, I said, 'I'm going to make you a setter, and you are going to be a tall setter,'" Grycel said. "She had the personality and coachability and the leadership and the skill to do all those things."
Weg spent her freshman year on varsity learning the ins and outs of the position, and come her sophomore year, Grycel handed Weg the reins to orchestrate her entire offense. It wasn't until this past summer when Grycel saw Weg's ability as an outside hitter that she wondered, "God, can I get her to do both because she is so talented?" she recalled thinking.
She's done so without hesitation.
Setting is Weg's natural position, but splitting time between hitting and setting allowed Lynden Christian's offense to be more diverse, and it has been fundamental to the Lyncs' run to state.
And while Weg has taken to hitting nicely, setting others up for a kill is still a more rewarding feeling than doing one herself.
"When I get a good set to Kara Bajema or our outsides or middles, it's a really good feeling because they just hit it straight down, and it feels great," Weg said.
Reach Alex Bigelow at email@example.com or 360-715-2271. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for other Whatcom County sports news