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Volleyball: Sanders excited to be back at Centaurus after a 3-year hiatus

Centaurus coach Bev Sanders yells out instructions during practice on Monday, Aug. 29. Sanders returns as coach of the Warriors after a three- year hiatus.
Jake Martinez/
Centaurus coach Bev Sanders yells out instructions during practice on Monday, Aug. 29. Sanders returns as coach of the Warriors after a three- year hiatus.

Walk into the gym at Centaurus High School and there is a different feel.

Gone are the days of no expectations. It is a new era for the Centaurus girls volleyball team.

Well, sort of.

Bev Sanders returns as coach for the Warriors this fall after a three-year hiatus.

Sanders resigned as head coach of the CHS volleyball program in 2008 mainly so she could watch her daughter Evan play at Colorado State. And the Warriors’ program sputtered in her time away, going 20-42.

But the stars aligned last winter for Sanders to get back into coaching a little sooner than expected. Evan decided to transfer to Pac-12 power Washington for her senior season, meaning Bev wouldn’t have many chances to see her play anyway, and the coaching job she previously held at CHS was open again.

“I love the game of volleyball and I really take joy in being around the game,” Sanders said. “With Evan at Washington and the job here open, it was time to get back to doing what I love.”

And the team is already noticing the difference.

“Coach doesn’t expect anything but perfection,” senior captain Aly Cheney said. “We have goals and expectations for the first time in my time here.”

While Sanders enjoyed the time off from the game, she is thrilled to get back to coaching.

“Being around the girls and teaching them is so enjoyable,” said Sanders. “I’m just really happy to be back in the game I love.”

Sanders said the time off was refreshing but it also gave her time to analyze her own coaching repertoire.

“Sometimes you have to change your coaching techniques,” she said. “Last time I was here we continually attacked the outside, but after studying and learning from other coaches, I have kind of changed some of my philosophies.”

Known for her hard-minded mentality, Sanders said she might be a little softer towards her players this time around.

But her players don’t see it that way.

“She doesn’t accept anything but 100 percent all the time,” Cheney said. “She is a hard coach that requires us to do everything right.”

But that mentality is something the Warriors appreciate.

“She brings an intensity that we haven’t seen here before,” senior Emily Gogerty said. “She has been a huge help to us in just the three weeks since the season started. You can really notice the difference.”

The Warriors finished last season with a 1-18 record, slipping to dead last in the Northern Conference. Sanders believes the Warriors have already begun the rebuilding process but she is ready to have winning be the standard at CHS again.

In fact, the Warriors won three out of their five scrimmages this past weekend. Last year, CHS went 0-5 on scrimmage day.

“The girls have shown vast improvement in a short time,” she said. “We have some good talent here and things are going to change quickly.”

Cheney echoed her coach’s stance.

“I’m sick of losing. It’s my last year here and we want to win more games than we lose this season,” she said. “And coach is going to help us so much and get us to where we need to be.”

While Sanders has already improved the team, Gogerty said, she also does an excellent job of helping the individual players improve.

“Coach has been a huge help to me already. She has helped me with my game so much,” Gogerty said. “You can tell she really cares and that’s nice to have in a coach.”

For Sanders, who spent 11 years in her first stint at CHS, the joy of coaching is back in her life again and she couldn’t be happier.

“I have always been involved with the game. I missed coaching, missed the relationships that you build and I just love the game. It is great to be coaching again.”