‘Cats serve up season with new coach
For the returning varsity members of the Basehor-Linwood volleyball team, the upcoming season will see a new face at the helm.
Lisa Phelps was named the new head coach last fall after previous coach Mardy Robinson stepped down to concentrate on basketball.
Despite the change, senior Kelly Schaffer said the team should have no trouble adjusting to the new coach.
"It's not going to be that bad," she said. "A lot of the girls that were on varsity last year graduated, so a bunch of girls that worked with (Phelps) when she was the JV coach will be on varsity this year. She helped with the varsity team some, too.
"It won't be that different at all really. She's a nice lady and she's really easy to get along with."
When Robinson announced she was stepping down at the banquet at the end of last season, Schaffer knew it was for the best.
"I think it was hard for her because she was the varsity coach of two different sports, so she couldn't just concentrate on one," said Schaffer, who also plays basketball. "It's probably going to be better for her because she likes basketball more and it's going to be good for the team because coach Phelps loves volleyball to death."
Junior Morgan Kenney said that love for volleyball would be a boost for the team.
"I wouldn't say that she's better per se, but her background is definitely volleyball and she'll bring a lot of experience to our team," Kenney said.
Phelps' experiences with the junior varsity were shared with the members of the varsity squad, Kenney said.
"The whole team really seems to like her and all of the girls that had her for JV liked her and would share stories with us about her," she said.
Kenney said Robinson helped Phelps along in the process while still head coach.
"Coach Phelps would work with us in practices last year and coach Robinson would let her do more and more in practice to help bring her along as the head coach," she said.
One problem the team will address this year is its hustle, which Schaffer said she believes Phelps will work on from the start.
"Hustle is something else we really need to work on," she said. "At the end of games last year we'd get tired and not get into our stances and we'd just get lazy. Coach Phelps is more of a hustle coach, so that will help us."
Another thing Phelps is going to work on with the team is team unity and building relationships between teammates.
"Coach Phelps talked about doing some team fund-raisers and to do a lot of things together as a team," she said. "I can tell she's really concentrated on this team.
"We all get along on the team, so I think we're going to do fine."
Kenney said success in volleyball depends greatly on communication on the court, making unity a must.
"We got along pretty well last year, but so much in volleyball depends on getting along and communicating," Kenney said. "When you're out on the court you need to listen to your teammates and to coach, and if you don't get along, you're not going to communicate as well as you need to."
Despite the experience with Phelps while coach of the junior varsity, Schaffer admitted the switch would be difficult.
"It's going to be hard with a new coach."