Varsity volleyball has been forced to adjust to shifts in the program


Sydney Clary

Varsity volleyball team celebrates a scored point against Lake City earlier this season.

Hadley Goodvin, Reviews Editor

Sandpoint varsity volleyball has experienced a major drawback during the past seasons, being that in the past three years, the team has had three different varsity coaches. Erin Roos, Jeff Hurst and Karen Alsager. 

The program has experienced constant stages of rebuilding, growth and the team has had to adjust and restart each year to meet each coach needs, standards and expectations, which can take a toll on a player. “I think that it has been difficult to adjust in the beginning, but allows us to grow and bond as a team,” says Senior Jenny Slaveck. 

Slaveck, who has been on varsity for three years states that the major changes she has noticed from each coach, is the difference in goals. “Some coaches are more driven by winning game by game and improving after every competition, while others are focused on the overall goal of going and competing at the state level.”

Junior Gabby Hicks, who is familiar with all three of the coaches remarks that they all have brought a different type of energy with them which is hard for everyone on the team to adjust too. 

I think that it has been difficult to adjust in the beginning, but allows us to grow and bond as a team.”

— Jenny Slavek

The different coaching techniques between the three coaches has added less and less consistency and uniformity. “This is usually hard as a player, because you typically start out the season very hesitant and closed off to new things,” adds Hicks. 

Hicks claims that she is used to readjusting throughout the seasons but knowing what each coach expects from the team in practice and in games is difficult to grasp. 

There are now new rules and regulations that have been brought to the table. If a player is late to practice or a game, the team has to “do a board” according to Slaveck. Also wearing matching outfits to practices and games to look more united and making sure that every ball is touched, “That is just something she (Coach Alsager) expects of us everyday.” 

Karen Alsager, who is currently the 2019 varsity coach, believes that she has provided this years team with some stability, “After having several coaching changes a lot of things don’t get addressed and rules don’t get established”. She states that she and her staff have worked very hard to bring discipline and high expectations into the program. 

“…I want to focus on making them the best volleyball team and players possible for SHS,” declares Alsager. “It is very rewarding to be part of their high school experience.” 

According to the players, everyone values each other immensely and that the team chemistry is the best that it has ever been this season. 

Overall, the different coaches have challenged the team to a fault which may seem like an obstacle. Only that it has brought the team closer in unity to leave a mark on every player in the program.