Luther College Chips

Brittany Sisk steps onto the court to lead women’s volleyball

Brittany Sisk walks across the court.

Brittany Sisk walks across the court.

Photo courtesy of Luther Athletics

Photo courtesy of Luther Athletics

Brittany Sisk walks across the court.

Martin Donovan, Staff Writer

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Luther’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Renae Hartl announced Brittany Sisk as the new Head Volleyball Coach in December.

“We are thrilled to name Sisk as the next head coach of our volleyball program,” Hartl said in a December statement. “I believe she is a premier young coach that will bring us some very exciting times ahead.”

Prior to coming to Luther, Sisk was the Head Coach at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois for the 2017 season. Sisk also served as the Head Coach at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana from 2014 until the school closed in 2017. Additionally, Sisk was the Assistant Coach at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and a volunteer Assistant Coach at Bethel University.

Sisk played volleyball at St. Mary’s University where she was a three-year starter, a two-time captain, and two-time team MVP.  During her senior year at St. Mary’s, Sisk ranked third in the nation in assists and helped lead the Cardinals to the NCAA Division III national tournament.

Sisk came to Luther because she and her husband wanted to live in the area as her husband’s job also relocated to Iowa.

“I am originally from Faribault, Minnesota, and my husband and I met in college at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota,” Sisk said. “We have always hoped that our careers may take us back to those roots. My husband’s company asked him to start the process of expanding into Iowa, and the minute I heard that I checked to see if this position at Luther was still posted, and it was.”

Sisk’s hiring came in the wake of the resignation of the former Head Volleyball Coach Danielle Lynch who left Luther in November for personal reasons.

According to co-captain, Karissa Kime (‘20), the team’s affinity toward Lynch made the beginning of the transition difficult; but as the team has spent more time with Sisk there has been a growing enthusiasm among the players.

“When we found out that Coach Lynch was leaving we were really heartbroken because she was really close to all of us,” Kime said. “In the transition period we were all skeptical because it is a big change. But now since we have all met Coach Sisk and spent some time with her I think we all agree that she is awesome and we are looking forward to the season in the fall.”

Volunteer Assistant Coach, Sophia Engelman (‘13) spoke on her personal experiences as a member on Luther’s volleyball team transitioning between head coaches.

“I went through three different head coaches when I was a student, so I know that transition really well,” Engelman said.  “It can be really hard, but I think with the end of the era, from [Lynch] to [Sisk],  there is an excitement to go to the next level. I think with another [coaching] style it may push them to a level that Luther volleyball hasn’t seen in a long time. I think sometimes that new energy or a different energy can really help student athletes capitalize in the skills that they already have.”

Currently, the Women’s Volleyball team is in between their fall season and non-traditional season, also known as spring season. Under NCAA guidelines, Division III volleyball programs are limited to a five-week spring season. The earliest coaches can begin their spring season is Feb. 1, and it has to be completed at least five days before an institution’s final exams.

Sisk will begin her team’s spring season after Luther’s spring break; but until then, Sisk cannot lead volleyball practices.

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