After losing eight seniors from last year’s state tournament team, it would be fair to expect a bit of rebuilding from this year’s edition of the West Branch volleyball team.
Ashley Finnegan wasn’t about to let that happen, though.
Now a senior herself, Finnegan has helped lead the Bears to a 15-3 record and a No. 13 ranking in Class 2A.
“I never lost confidence in my team,” she said.
Although they lost in the first round of state, getting there was a big boost to the Bears’ confidence and sparked more off-season work.
“We had open gyms and stuff this summer,” Finnegan said. “Our first goal is to try win a conference championship in this new (River Valley) Conference.”
Finnegan’s play was limited mainly to the front row last year, but she’s developed into a solid all-around player this year. She currently leads West Branch with 100 digs and is third on the team with 98 kills.
“I think I’m doing pretty good,” she said. “There’s stuff I can work on, but I think my big point is to help other girls out.”
Finnegan also plays basketball and golf, and plays club volleyball with the Cedar Rapids Spikers. She’s a National Honor Society member and plans to study nursing at St. Ambrose or Coe College, and she’s considering continuing her golf career in college.
Ashley Finnegan is this week’s Hotshot:
If I could visit any place in the world, it would be: Ireland, because I’m very Irish.
My nickname is: Ash.
My biggest asset to the team is: Leadership.
My most prized possession is: My plaques from state volleyball and golf.
Best sports experience: Going to state in golf and volleyball.
In 10 years I want to be: A nurse.
Craziest ambition: To travel the world.
Person I most admire is: My mom, Jeanie Finnegan.
My team/personal goals for the season are: To win conference and make it back to state.
I can’t imagine going a week without: Music.
My favorite —
Pro or college team: Penn State volleyball.
Class: English or science.
Color: Purple or pink.
Movie or TV show: “One Tree Hill.”
Music: Pop or Country.
Actor: Ashton Kutcher.
Actress: Sandra Bullock.
Words to live by: Never give up on your dreams.