Reconstructing the Volleyball Team


Leila Stewart, Co-Editor in Chief

During their 2018 season, the varsity volleyball team went 1-13 in districts and was ranked seventh in the district. Before heading into the first semester, the former head volleyball coach, Christopher Simmons, was removed and now the question is in the air of who will pick up and lead the team into the 2019 season.

During the seventh period, the volleyball team is being primarily managed by the Girls’ Head Athletic Director, Laine Skelton. Former freshman volleyball coach and Principles of Business and Marketing Finance teacher Amy Hascek has also helped out the team and runs volleyball drills with them on days they have the gym.

Without a proper coach, returning varsity members and juniors have had to step up as stronger leaders and players this past off-season. Returning third-year varsity member junior Rita Lai said she has had to be responsible for not only herself but her teammates and ensuring that the team keeps their focus.

“I feel that now without an official coach, this program is now in our own hands in which that whatever we put in now is what we will get out of it next season,” Lai said.

These new responsibilities do not come without challenges. “Offseason has been a little rough just because we don’t have an official coach which makes it hard for us to really focus on things we have to improve on,” Lai said. “The effort given has slipped a little but I think that we are all learning to adjust.”

Lai recognizes the importance of the role she has and the impact the team’s actions now will have on their future seasons.

“I’ve had to step up to relate messages between the different coaches we’ve been working with as well as being the one to make sure that everyone is giving their full effort and I feel like that now without an official coach, this program is now in our own hands in which that whatever we put in now is what we will get out of it next season,” Lai said.

Despite these changes, returning second-year varsity member Stella Saxer says she feels optimistic about the future and is proud of Lai for stepping up as a leader.

“With no coach, everyone has been stepping up and trying to hold each other accountable. We want to make sure we are held accountable and learn how the program works,” Saxer said. “In general the juniors have done an impressive job of leading by example and making sure things still get done. Rita specifically has done a great job to instill our standards into the freshman.”

Saxer also says she attributes the program’s growing success to head softball coach and Girls’ Athletic Director Laine Skelton and her assistant coaches for their training and expertise.

“So far the softball coaches have been running our workouts and I definitely believe we are improving,” Saxer said. “Their workouts are not as basic as the ones we’ve been doing and are volleyball-specific. Also, the softball coaches have a way of motivating us to work harder and to complete all of our reps in a way that we didn’t have before.”Although the future is uncertain, better days are on the horizon for the varsity volleyball team.

“I think based on what we’ve seen so far we are already going to be better and stronger than before,” she said.

The impending transition with a new head coach isn’t going to hold these girls back from living up to their full potential.

“Our hope is just to improve as much a possible and give our best for our new coach, whoever that will be,” Saxer said. “We want to be competitive next season in districts and, as of now, it seems like a possibility which makes us excited.”