Digging new coaches

Varsity volleyball program benefits from new coaching

Head coach Amanda Anspaugh (left) and assistant coach Debbie Bevier (right) look on as their team plays a match at Vandercook high school.

Myranda Dillay

Head coach Amanda Anspaugh (left) and assistant coach Debbie Bevier (right) look on as their team plays a match at Vandercook high school.

Mike Layher, Assistant Web Editor-in-Chief

When Dean of Instruction Mrs. Amanda Anspaugh accepted the job of freshman coach last year, she never imagined that she may step up to the Varsity level.

Anspaugh was formerly the freshman and JV coach at Jackson High. Her family decided to make a total move into Mountie Nation, where she became a volleyball coach and math teacher.

“Last year, Stan Childs, the former Varsity coach, was asked to leave the program just before districts,” said Anspaugh. “Last season was not going well and the girls were really unhappy.”

Anspaugh was then asked to step up into her current position and continued to coach the team throughout districts last year.

Even though the sport felt like second nature to the Varsity Girls Volleyball team, the new coaches found that a recall back to fundamentals was exactly what was needed for them to progress this year.

“I think what needed to happen was that the girls needed to find the love of the sport again,” said Anspaugh. “Once we instilled that in them, then we started teaching them the basic fundamentals they missed last year.”

With the team lacking of solid knowledge of the game, Anspaugh and Assistant Coach Mrs. Deborah Bevier needed to find a way to completely rebuild the group from the ground up.

This process began with a focus on basics such as offensive and defensive strategy, as well as a functioning method of passing.

“Mrs. Anspaugh and I have played together for several years and we know the game,ˮ said Bevier. “We can see that there was a hole in what the girls knew about the game in their defense, their technique, or even really how to play volleyball.ˮ

Bevier has played the game since she was 12 years old and had coached the eighth grade volleyball team for seven years stepping up as assistant coach this season.

“I’m taking a backseat with being the assistant coach,ˮ said Bevier. “I would like to say I am a mixture between being an intense coach when necessary, and a nurturing coach when it is needed.ˮ

Both Anspaugh and Bevier believe in two philosophies: that a team is only as intense as their coach, and you coach how you play.

“If you were to watch me in action, I am positively intense,ˮ said Anspaugh. “I always find something positive to capitalize even if we are losing, and the team tends to respond that way also. I think it is fair to say they are positively intense too.ˮ

Besides being co-coaches, Bevier and Anspaugh have worked together on the court. That chemistry has helped them in remolding the team this year and with introducing a more driven atmosphere on the court.

With a new, stronger, team-based approach to the game, the coaches are aiming to take the team as far as they can possibly go in their new conference.

“We have been playing in a class B district in the past, but this is the first time we will be in a class A district,ˮ said Anspaugh. “Taking on powerhouse teams like Okemos and Mason have me a little worried, but the sky is the limit with us.ˮ

Bevier and Anspaugh plan to remain patient with the team through their learning process this season and hope to learn as much from the girls as they are learning from them.