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2011 Volleyball preview: Five new coaches in county

by Dennis Sharkey

When Jefferson County Volleyball teams hit the court next week most will look a lot different on the sidelines.

Out of six county teams, five will feature new head coaches. The only returning coach is Jefferson County North’s Jeremy Gish who begins his 11th season.

New Oskaloosa Volleyball Head Coach Taylor King

New Oskaloosa Volleyball Head Coach Taylor King takes over a team that won the state title last year. Photo by Dennis Sharkey

The biggest shoes that will be filled are on the sidelines for the Lady Bears. First year coach Taylor King takes over a team that won the Class 2A championship last year with many of the same weapons returning. King said she will expect max effort.

“Just because we were state champions last year doesn’t mean that I’m going to let loose on them,” she said. “We’re not going to take it easy.”

King brings back a group of seniors that saw significant playing time last year. She also stood watch last year as former coach Tosha Landau’s assistant.

King will also be one of the youngest coaches on the sidelines. At times during practice last week it was hard to pick King out on the floor.

The Lady Bulldogs also have a new young coach in Jessica Seichepine who is currently a senior at the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth. She played high school ball at Jefferson County North and played under Gish.

Seichepine is familiar with the juniors and seniors on her team because she was the assistant coach two years ago. She hopes to one day coach college players and is looking for some solid experience.

“I knew all the girls from here before so I thought it would be a good transition,” Seichepine said.

Lori Glissman is taking over the Lady Dragons from Seth Cooper. Glissman is a Valley Falls native and played for the Lady Dragons. She has enlisted former Ottawa University standout Emily Licktieg as her assistant. Licktieg is a Rossville native.

Jefferson West High School teacher Roxanne Silovsky is taking over the Lady Tigers this season but only on an interim basis. Head Coach Sara Becker is out on maternity leave but said she will return next season.

Ed Corporal takes over the Lady Kaws head coach position this year. Corporal accepted the position only a month ago and has had to spend time catching up with his new players.

Corporal, a Kansas City native, has spent the last couple of years coaching high school volleyball in Maryland but returned to the area this year with his daughter who will be a red shirt freshman volleyball player at KU this fall.

Last month Corporal got a phone call from one of his former basketball players, Jeff Hawkins, who is currently the Kaws boys’ basketball coach, about the coaching vacancy at Perry-Lecompton.

“Perry-Lecompton is a hidden jewel,” Corporal said. “These girls just need to build some confidence.”

Oskaloosa Bears
Coach: Taylor King, first year
2010 record: 36-10

King’s Lady Bears come into the 2011 season as a marked team after winning the state title last year.

Expectations will also be high as she returns five seniors who saw significant playing time last year including senior Haley Pfau. She was one of the Delaware Valley’s best players last year.

King said she knows there is pressure on her team to be successful. She said they can already feel it.

“There’s obviously pressure because they are the defending champions,” King said. “But I don’t want them to feel that pressure. It’s not something that needs to be on their shoulders.

“It’s something we pride ourselves on but we’re in a different season now,” she added.

The team deals with the pressure by not talking about it. She doesn’t believe it will affect her team. Last year the team came into the season off a state tournament appearance and a ranking of third in the state.

King said her only concern is replacing defensive specialist Hailey Kelly who was a four-year starter at the libero position. Currently Taylor Willits is practicing in that spot.

Some younger players will also see playing time on the varsity level. She expects sophomores Megan Grother and Erin Bowser to step up. Nicole Kruse is expected to make a jump as a hitter.

Jefferson West Tigers
Coach: Roxanne Silovsky, first year
2010 record: 16-20

For Coach Silovsky this year will be about keeping the bench seat warm for Head Coach Sara Becker who is on maternity leave.

Silovsky is Becker’s assistant coach and doesn’t plan on changing much of the program for this season. Silovsky led the junior varsity squad last year and has prior varsity head coaching experience.

“I’m just going to kind of follow what she has set up and just putting my little twist to it a little bit,” she said.

Silovsky said her team is experienced with several junior and seniors and she only has to replace one senior from last year.

The Lady Tigers will get back Marci Greene who was lost for the season last year with a knee injury. Nichole Feyh will play outside while Molly Hothan will join Greene in the middle. Katie Ricklefs will see the most time at libero and Hayley Johnson is the returning setter.

Through a week of practice Silovsky says her team is getting close to being ready for next weeks opener.

“They’re comfortable in their spots and we’ll try to improve every time we hit the floor,” she said.

JCN Chargers
Coach: Jeremy Gish, 11th year
2010 record: 21-15

The Lady Chargers come off a winning season that fell short of expectations of making a third consecutive state tournament appearance when they lost in the sub-state finals at home to ACCHS-Effingham.

However, Gish’s team is packed with talent that is young. Three freshmen started in that sub-state final, Jamie Navinskey, Heather Polson and Jaycee Kramer, and will be on the floor a lot again this year.

Senior Jordan Kramer is Gish’s leader on the floor but her position is yet to be finalized. Last year Kramer played mostly at libero.

“We still have some question marks and some things we need to decide as coaches for where our players will best fit,” Gish said. “But we feel pretty good about it. They work unbelievably hard and they have a high volleyball IQ.”

Megan Domann is the only junior who will see significant playing time and sophomore Kymee Noll is expected to grab the full-time libero position.

Although his team is young, Gish expects big things from the Lady Chargers this season.

“That was tremendous experience,” Gish said about the freshman’s playing time in the post season last year. “The fact that we played so well with so many young players at significant positions.”

“I like our team a lot,” he added. “This is a team that will get better and better throughout the season.”

McLouth Bulldogs
Coach: Jessica Seichepine, first year
2010 record: 10-25

Seichepine is hoping to bring some stability to a program that has seen a new head coach in each of the last couple of seasons.

The Lady Bulldogs return only four varsity players who saw significant playing time last year but 27 girls have gone out for the team and she likes the attitude she is seeing on the court.

“They have a lot of dedication to get better and they work hard,” Seichepine said. “They’re just a fun group of girls to be around.”

Seichepine cannot predict how well her team will play but she says they will be aggressive.

“We don’t have the tallest girls on the team but we will have a lot of heart when we play,” she said. “If anything we will bring energy to the court.”

Valley Falls Dragons
Coach: Lori Glissman, first year
2010 record: 21-15

Glissman takes over a team that has done well the past couple of years but has now reached a transition point of rebuilding.

This will be Glissman’s first varsity head coaching experience but she has led the junior varsity and freshman teams for the past seven years. She will also lean on Assistant Coach Emily Lickteig, especially with the setters.

“She is going to be a big help,” Glissman said.

Senior Macie Herrig is the only returning senior who saw significant playing time last year. Glissman must also replace five seniors from last year’s team.

Along with Herrig, Molly Tillery has emerged as early floor leaders. However, some younger players including some freshmen could see significant time.

“We’re getting there,” she said. “We’ve got some things to work on but as we go on I’m pretty confident we will be looking pretty good.”

Perry-Lecompton Kaws
Coach: Ed Corporal, first year
2010 record: 7-28

Corporal is entering his first year as a head coach in volleyball but has been an assistant coach for the past three seasons. However, he does have several years of head coaching experience in basketball so the captain’s hat fits.

The Lady Kaw program managed only seven wins last year but Corporal doesn’t believe it’s a lack of athletes.

“The talent is there,” he said. “We’re just trying to get it all together. They’re a good group of girls.”

Corporal said he has worked with the girls a little bit over the summer but has treated the first week of practice like a training camp and getting down to fundamentals.

“We’re starting new and we’re starting fresh,” he said. “We’re building up a foundation because I plan on being here for awhile. I hope I can bring some stability to the program. It’s not an overnight process.”

Corporal has only three seniors on his team and will have to depend on a young bench. Young players like sophomore Halsten Coyle will see significant time. Coyle is expected to be the main setter.

Sierra Morgison and Kelsey Kasson have emerged early as floor leaders. Corporal said he has consulted with both girls to get some history about the team. He said both girls are also taking charge on the practice court.

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