When Kennedy Selby looks at the latest installment of her Monarch volleyball team, the junior captain sees something of a hybrid squad.
It is a mix of the old vibe and a new vibe, an amalgamation of previous ways and new ways to get things done. That’s because the woman in charge of the Monarch volleyball team is at once a familiar face and a new one.
Katie Erickson had been a three-year assistant for the Coyotes before taking the reins this season. That means she already has a rapport with the players, but also that she can implement a system of her own.
“There’s definitely some carryover,” Selby said. “She knows all the rituals and traditions we have and she knows how things work. It’s definitely good that she’s the head coach, because she knows volleyball pretty well and she knows us pretty well.”
Erickson, a 2005 Thompson Valley graduate who played volleyball at Hendrix College, inherits four returning starters and five others with varsity experience.
Joining Selby (a setter and left-side hitter) in the starting lineup are middle blocker Gigi Spector, outside hitter Carrie Glastetter, and defensive specialist Stephanie Grosser. Grosser is involved in a fierce battle for the libero position with co-captain Alex Tozzie.
“I think it’s coming together well,” Erickson said. “We still have some stuff to work on, but the awesome thing is the our defense is really solid so we have a good strong base to build on.”
Selby has had three coaches in her seasons at Monarch, with Enhui Chu, Thomas Sullivan, and now Erickson. While she appreciates the opportunity to learn a wide range of instruction from a variety of different minds, she’s ready to see some steadiness in the Coyotes program during her final two seasons.
“I’m definitely hoping for some stability,” Selby said. “It’s been weird having three different coaches in three years, but it happens. It’s good to have different coaches and see new ways, but it’s always good to have that stability.”
The Coyotes won’t be blessed with as much height as they’ve had in the past but will compensate with a strong defense and scrappy play. And although the coach is new, the Class 5A Front Range League squad doesn’t feel like it is starting from scratch.
“We have a good idea what’s coming,” Erickson said. “I don’t think the beginning of the season is going to be as much of a shock as it has been for several years in the past.”
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