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Dawn Cherwinka joins Luther’s athletic staff as assistant volleyball coach

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Dawn Cherwinka joins Luther’s athletic staff as assistant volleyball coach

Dawn Cherwinka cheers on the Luther volleyball team from the sidelines.

Dawn Cherwinka cheers on the Luther volleyball team from the sidelines.

Photo Courtesy of Dawn Cherwinka

Dawn Cherwinka cheers on the Luther volleyball team from the sidelines.

Photo Courtesy of Dawn Cherwinka

Photo Courtesy of Dawn Cherwinka

Dawn Cherwinka cheers on the Luther volleyball team from the sidelines.

Natalie Nelson, Staff Writer

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Dawn Cherwinka joined the Luther athletic staff as an assistant volleyball coach at the beginning of August, joining her daughter Head Coach of Volleyball Brittany Sisk. Before coming to Luther, she was a coach at the Northern Lights Junior Volleyball Club in Minnesota and spent 27 years coaching volleyball at various high schools in Minnesota such as East Central High School, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown High School, and Faribault High School.

Before coaching the sport for nearly 30 years, Cherwinka played in high school and college and spent her summers running volleyball camps. She began coaching volleyball in 1989 as an assistant varsity coach at East Central High School in Sandstone, Minnesota. She even took one of her Northern Lights teams to play in Italy.

“I really enjoy working with the college athletes,” Cherwinka said. “They are more focused and dedicated to their sport. I think I bring the understanding of what is expected of the high school volleyball players as they transition to the collegiate level, physically, emotionally, and in their skill sets.”

Photo Courtesy of luther.edu
Dawn Cherwinka was previously a high school volleyball coach for 27 years.

Cherwinka values being able to support Luther’s volleyball team throughout their season. She said this year’s season went well and that she is always enthusiastic about matches.

“My players can always see me standing, cheering, and excited on the sidelines,” Cherwinka said. “Luther is a great place to be a part of. I can’t wait to see where the program goes in the next few years.”

Before becoming a coach, Cherwinka attended Winona State University, where she received a B.A. in Fine Arts and Mankato State University, where she received a B.S. in Art Education and an M.S. in Educational Leadership.

Sam Sixta (‘20) is in her third year playing volleyball at Luther and worked with Cherwinka throughout the season. Sixta says Cherwinka was very helpful during the preseason and attended most of the games during the season.

“She gives lots of feedback,” Sixta said. “She is very easy to talk to and she is always invested in the players.”

Anna Larson (‘19) enjoyed working with Cherwinka throughout the season, which involved three practices a day, six days a week during the two-week long preseason and multiple season tournaments and games. Larson appreciates Cherwinka’s demeanor when she coaches.

“Coach Cherwinka is such a relatable and caring person,” Larson said. “She is a total sweetheart who[is] dedicated to Luther College Volleyball.”

Larson described the season as a transitional year with the new coaching staff and said the team had some hard-fought victories and ended at a high level of play.

“I appreciated the expertise and experience Coach Cherwinka brought to the coaching staff,” Larson said. “She was direct, informational, and encouraging. Her volleyball IQ helped all of our players perform to the best of their abilities and compete with other high-level teams.”

ka said. “Luther is a great place to be a part of. I can’t wait to see where the program goes in the next few years.”

Before becoming a coach, Cherwinka attended Winona State University, where she received a BA in Fine Arts and Mankato State University, where she received a BS in Art Education and an MS in Educational leadership.

Co-captain of the varsity team Sam Sixta is in her third year playing volleyball at Luther. She said that Cherwinka was very helpful during the preseason and attended most of the games during the season.

“She gives lots of feedback,” Sixta (‘20) said. “She is very easy to talk to and she is always invested in the players.”

Co-captain Anna Larson enjoyed working with Cherwinka throughout the season, which involved three practices a day, six days a week during the two-week long preseason and multiple season tournaments and games. Larson said Cherwinka was able to travel to all of the tournaments and games with the team.

“Coach Cherwinka is such a relatable and caring person,” Larson (‘19) said. “She is a total sweetheart who was dedicated to Luther College Volleyball even though she lives and works as an Art Teacher in Farmington, Minnesota.”

Larson described the season as a transition year with the new coaching staff and said the team had some very hard fought victories and ended at a high level of play.

“I appreciated the expertise and experience Coach Cherwinka brought to the coaching staff,” Larson said. “She was direct, informational, and encouraging. Her volleyball IQ helped all of our players perform to the best of their abilities and compete with other high-level teams.”

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