NEILLSVILLE, Wis. (WEAU) - Just a week after a volleyball player from a neighboring school passed away unexpectedly, opponents at a volleyball game in Neillsville Tuesday night turned out to show their support for a team still grieving from the loss of their friend.
It was almost a week ago that the Amherst Falcons volleyball team found out that one of their players, junior Kayla Toelle, died unexpectedly in her sleep. Tuesday night the team and their opponents, the Neillsville Warriors took to the court to remember Kayla’s school spirit and love of the game.
“She would be so happy to see everybody supporting her,” Amherst High School junior, Alex Stienert said.
The past week has been tough after the team lost number 5, Kayla Toelle.
“She was obsessed with it and she loved playing volleyball,” Toelle’s friends said.
Tonight on the practice court the number five was out in full force and on the sidelines, fans normally dressed in Neillsville red and white sported falcon blue to show their support for a school grieving from loss.
“This is our way to support them because this could happen to anybody,” Neillsville athletic director Mark Craig said.
Craig says it was the students who had the idea to show their support for the falcons on the court and in the stands.
“The girls are wearing blue ribbons in their hair in honor of Kayla and our high school student body decided to wear blue in honor of Kayla also,” Craig said.
“We felt like we had to respect the other town because I know they have a loss so we thought it would be a good opportunity to respect them,” Neillsville student Liz Mansour said.
It’s a showing of support that Kayla’s friends say would have meant the world to her.
“There is more to sports than just the game and that's what we are trying to show,” Craig said.
I did talk to the superintendent of the Amherst school district earlier tonight; she told me that the school is humbled with the outpouring of support from the neighboring towns.