Off of an 18-7 campaign a year ago, Horizon volleyball has set a high standard for a team that lost just three seniors. However, the new coach in the fold, Eric Deveraux who takes over for Julie …
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Off of an 18-7 campaign a year ago, Horizon volleyball has set a high standard for a team that lost just three seniors.
However, the new coach in the fold, Eric Deveraux who takes over for Julie Kindzerski-Gray, hopes to not skip a beat with a talented, young group.
“I’m definitely excited,” Deveraux said last week in a phone interview. “We have a lot of good young players that have come up through the open gyms this summer, and have been doing a really nice job.”
As 40-50 girls have made their way to summer workouts so far, fantastic talent and work-ethic have been on display throughout. The 30-year experience of Deveraux in playing, giving lessons and coaching volleyball, most recently at The Diff Volleyball Club (coached former and current Horizon players Camden and Lauren Strain there), shouldn’t allow any situation to be too overwhelming for the new coach. Also, stressing positivity throughout the program to his players is essential in Deveraux’s coaching style.
“I’m definitely a very technical coach. I really appreciate technique, form, good footwork, and energetic arm-swings. I’m learning about taking the 10,000-foot view of the whole team rather than just individual skills and players, but I hope to bring an energy level and passion for the game. I want to have fun, but also at the same time, I’m going to push them (his team). I expect a lot from myself, and I’ll expect a lot from the girls. One of my philosophies is `it’s better every ball and better every day.’”
As five seniors come to the fold this season, headlined by Hannah Wilmes and Strain, the attack at the net shouldn’t be an issue for the Lady Hawks. Filling out the depth of the roster with younger players, such as summer-standout freshman Isabelle Saiki among others, the ball-controlling style of play is of extreme importance to a Deveraux-coached team.
“The thing I am pushing right now is ball control. We have a few players that we hope to be pretty dominant on the court, but I want to control the ball and make the other team beat us. I don’t want to give them points because we made a silly play.
I want to put pressure on the other team, and if they beat us, they were the better team that day, and I’ll accept that. We have had a few younger players that have come in and really surprised me as well. We have had a couple of freshmen that have come in and looked really good to this point. The thing I’m impressed with is a lot of the girls have had a lot of volleyball experience with club teams, and they have pretty high IQ’s. The leadership is also there in what we have seen in open gyms so far.”
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