By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
A lot has changed for Quinn Justham in three short years.
Individually, she has grown from a nervous freshman with potential into a confident junior leader at the top of her game.
Her Windham Bombers are, too.
The group has become connected on the court through a newfound level of determination and focus that has shaped a successful season that has the Bombers chasing a Northeastern Athletic Conference championship with a 8-2 record currently.
Justham, a junior setter, orchestrates an offense that features power at the net with Briah Daniel, Lorena De Oliviera and Angelina Jones.
Justham has been the Bombers’ primary setter since her freshman year. It is a starting role that was thrust upon her the night before the team’s first game of the season in 2021.
“Quinn just in as a freshman and showed no fear,” Windham head coach Lauren Gintert said. “It was a tough spot to be in, but I never once saw her show a bit of fear or hesitation.”
Justham, admittedly, said she was absolutely anxious, but some of those nerves during her freshman season would drift away once the games began.
Something that did not surprise Gintert.
“She is one the strongest players physically and mentally I have ever had the privilege of coaching,” she said.
In addition to Justham’s skill-set, much of what makes her a joy to coach, according to Gintert, are the intangibles.
“She has everything a coach wants in a player. She works hard every day, always shows up, gives 110 percent and is always a team player,” Gintert said.
Volleyball initially took hold of Justham back when she was in seventh grade. Her sister, Payton, was on the high-school team and Quinn volunteered to be the team’s ball girl.
She was only 8 years old at the time, but soon realized that volleyball was where she wanted to be.
“I love the excitement of the sport,” Justham said. “And our team this year is making it even more exciting. We are all on the same page together, which feels special, and I think we all want to win so badly. We have a mentality that we are here to win, and we finally see that. We finally see that to have the chance to do that, we have to work really hard in practice.”
Which is where Gintert can always count on Justham to be leading the pack.
“Quinn has always been a hard worker and that has paid off through the years,” the Bombers’ coach said. “She has become more confident in her decision making, allowing her to be a little trickier with her setter hands.
“She is a fast-paced, quick-thinking player, who will always sacrifice herself to make the play,” Gintert added.
For Justham, the passion comes instinctively because of her affection for her school and community. It simply carries over naturally to the volleyball court.
“Windham is special to me. I have lived her my entire life and it is definitely home to me. I love it. We are all one big family, and we always say, ‘Bomber Pride,’ but it is not just a saying. It shapes the way we live and how we take care of each other.
“For our volleyball team, we are so close to each other. We really are best friends and it is such a great feeling that I can’t imagine playing with another group of teammates or for us to be playing together anywhere else.”