The future is here
The poster for the 2006-07 LCSC
women’s volleyball team shows the squad on top of the Lewiston Hill with
the lights of the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley below and behind them in the
background. The picture is also symbolic of where the program is headed.
Erin Mellinger begins her second
season as the Warriors’ coach and her young team is hoping that the hard
work and uphill climb will pay off this season.
“We know we have a young and
fairly inexperienced team, but I like what I see,” says Mellinger. “I
think we have some really good players.”
Mellinger has good reason to be
optimistic. Last year, she became coach only a month before the season
started and the team didn’t have much time to adjust to her style of
coaching or play. However, with a strong off-season workout program and
a great recruiting class, there’s good reason for optimism with the
future of the program.
“I learned a lot about coaching
last year. It made me realize that success is as much about the mental
and emotional aspect of the game as the physical part,” she says.
“Coaches and players have to believe in a system before you can be
Mellinger showed the returning
players the importance of buying into the program. She participated in
the off-season workouts and even punished herself by running lines if
she made a mistake during the workouts. The players picked up on the
coach’s energy and enthusiasm.
“It’s great to see the players buy
into and believe in what you are doing,” Mellinger says. “They want to
have success and they need to believe they can be successful.”
The positive feelings and outlook
has carried over to the eight new recruits, six of which are freshmen.
“I enjoyed recruiting this class
because I’ve seen what they can do and I’m expecting them to do well
here,” Mellinger says. “This is a talented group.”
The Warriors, however, are young
this season. The roster has only two seniors, Julie Nebeker and Dawn
Ingham. Both are defensive specialists and liberos, and saw the most
action on the team last year.
The two juniors on the squad are
both new to the program as middle blocker Brittney Kubik (Walla Walla
Community College) and Liz Paradis (Treasure Valley Community College)
join the program.
The remaining 10 players are
either sophomores or freshmen, which bodes well for the future of the
program. Sophomores Lindsey Scott, an outside hitter, and middle blocker
Julie Maciboba, both from Kennewick, were staples in the lineup last
year and will be counted on heavily again this season.
The Warriors’ schedule will begin
with the annual Holiday Inn Region I Challenge in Lewiston, but then the
team will embark on one of the toughest road trips in the history of the
program when it takes part in the Concordia Tournament in California in
early September. Fresno Pacific and California Baptist, both ranked in
the top three in the NAIA preseason poll, are LCSC’s first two
opponents, and Biola, which LCSC plays on the second day, also drew
votes in the national poll.
The Warriors didn’t receive much
respect in the Frontier Conference coaches’ preseason poll. LCSC was
picked to finish seventh in the eight-team league. Mellinger felt the
prediction was based on last year’s finish and feels LCSC will prove
otherwise on the court this year.
“I think that we will be better
this season,” Mellinger says. “Obviously, we have some pretty talented
individuals here. We have recruited a group of girls who are good
athletes, good people and good student-athletes. And now we will have
some continuity in the program. I think the future looks bright for us.”