Q&A with volleyball senior standout Jenna Weinfiurt


Jenna Weinfurt

Jenna Weinfurt (17) celebrates after a positive Warhawk play Credit: Jenna Weinfurt

Kevin Cramer, Women's Sports Editor

Jenna Weinfiurt is a senior on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s volleyball team. She has proved to be a dominant and valuable aspect of the Warhawk volleyball program. In the 2021 season, she finished fourth in the WIAC in kills per set with 3.11. Last season Weinfurt received first team honors for the WIAC Conference and led the Warhawks on an NCAA tournament run that was unfortunately stopped short in the second round. Now in her senior campaign she will look to take her team even closer to a National Championship.

Q: What are your goals and the team’s goals for this season?

A: The number one goal is to bring home an NCAA championship. We’ve been talking about that since the second we all stepped back on campus. I think we got a taste of a little bit last year making it to the tournament, and us losing last year really left us with so much motivation and determination to come back and try to do that again and I think that this team is so capable and so amazing. We have so much not only talent on this team this year, but every single teammate works so hard and we all have that hunger and passion for not to bring home that championship in Pittsburgh this year. We came up with a team motto this year. It’s “One Team, One Mission.”  Our goals also include how we’re going to make it that far. We’re really emphasizing togetherness and determination this season. Of course, we have smaller goals before we get to the tournament like winning the conference, we’re also focusing on taking it one game at a time and how we can bring the same high energy and execution to every single practice and match.

Q: How do you get prepared for gameday?

A: Gamedays are my favorite days, but they can come with a little nervousness and anxiety. I always try to watch some film either the night before or the morning of and as a team, we also do that the day before a game. We watch films on our upcoming opponents. It just really helps us get in the playing mindset. If we play at home, I try to make sure I have something to do during the day, so I’m not just laying around all day. My roommates and I sometimes go and get coffee, we listen to good music. We do things that kind of put us in that positive mindset and get us hyped up. The huge focus for me is definitely mindset. I know that my coaches and my teammates will have my body ready, but game days for me, what I do personally is try to get my mind ready. I try to have all my schoolwork done, so that I can focus on what I have to do that night on the court. 

Q: Do you think Whitewater does a good job of supporting its female athletes?

A: Yes. As a female athlete, on the volleyball team, I think that Whitewater and our coaches provide us with amazing resources to help us have structure and balance as student athletes. Every week, we actually meet with Dr. Lindsey who is a sports physiologist here at Whitewater. She helps us work on mental training, teamwork and just how to better perform mentally. We come to college to play volleyball and we know for the most part how to play physically, but I think having the sports physiologist and the weekly team meeting is such a great aspect that Whitewater has given us to learn the other side of volleyball which is the mental part and is something new that we’ve all learned and that is really helpful for our play. We also have an amazing team of athletic trainers that help every single athletic team here. They do everything for us. They ensure we get the treatment we need before every game and practice and any form of recovery after every game and practice and then, this year, we were introduced to a team oi mental health counselors, so this is something new this year that Whitewater is really trying to emphasize for all student athletes to have access to mental health counseling because as we know, in the past few years the world has experienced a lot of mental health issues with student athletes and, I think it’s a great resource that Whitewater has added to the athletic program and it’ll be a great resource, not just for female student-athletes this year, but for all student athletes.

Jenna Weinfurt and the women’s volleyball team will travel to Oshkosh on Tuesday, Sep. 13 to play their first conference game of the season against the Titans. Weinfurt hopes to continue her domination and lead the team to a successful season.