The Vandalia School Board appointed a new head volleyball coach last Tuesday, current VCHS biology teacher Amber Connor. Connor will take over a team that finished the 2015 season 8-18.
While expectations aren’t sky high, Connor does have some team goals in mind, hoping that she can help her team develop and learn how to play together.
“I’m not expecting a lot, but as far as winning goes, I kind of just want to focus on getting the girls to play as a team,” Connor said. “It’s more of a developing year, as far as myself, too, and Katie Vieregge, who has just done junior high coaching.”
While Connor has no experience coaching volleyball, she did play from junior high throughout high school at one of Vandalia’s conference foes, Hillsboro, so the interest in the position was a no-brainer.
“Yea (my interest in volleyball played a factor in taking the position); I always loved it. I coached softball here for a while with coach Buscher,” Connor said. “I did that for two years with him and I loved it. And then I had two kids; I kind of got out of coaching because of them and now I kind of want to get back in, I just love volleyball.”
Despite accepting the challenging role of a new head coach, she will get the privilege of dealing with a lot of familiar faces, something she says is going to be an added benefit and advantage.
“I love the fact that I will be coaching girls that I teach and see everyday,” Connor said. “I feel like, you get to know them, they get to know you, and there is that mutual respect going on. I think it would be really tough if I didn’t teach them and didn’t know them.”
With five seniors graduating and only a few returning, the team will be relying on a lot of young talent, especially from the incoming eighth-graders, who fell one game short of advancing to state.
“The eighth-grade girls will be coming in and they did really well. If you have earned it, you are going to play. I also feel like that people who don’t play are still a huge part of the team and that’s kind of my goal,” Connor said. “It’s kind of a clean slate (coming in) – I am looking forward to it.”