The Varsity Volleyball team suffered the loss of another head coach the first week of school, which strongly affected senior captains, Maeve Loughran ‘22 and Ava Launsbach ‘22.
The departure of former Varsity Volleyball head coach Kathleen Luft was announced to the team on the first day of school, following a tournament the previous weekend. The Varsity Volleyball team was notified that Luft would not be attending their league tournament just days before the final competition of the summer. Despite this setback, the team won the tournament. The players were informed shortly thereafter that Luft would no longer be at Marlborough. As a result, the team was left with only assistant coaches Nicole Eseaff, Otis Glasgow and Janessa Mata, who were also leading the 7th and 8th grade team, the freshman and sophomore team and the junior varsity team.
“I think the first couple days were definitely hard to get used to,” Loughran said. “After, we all got it together because we only have us now.”.
The loss of a head coach has emphasized the importance of team captains, who play an important role both on the court and off the court. The sudden departure has encouraged the upperclassmen, including four seniors on the team, to take on more significant roles of leadership.
“I think that especially with the team captains, there has been a lot of collaboration before we even had the interim head coach with the assistant coaches,” Varsity Volleyball player Ally Rudnick ‘22 said. “As well as just taking more leadership positions on the court such as team support, or if somebody is down trying to bring them back and foster a very positive team energy.”
Sept. 20 Marlborough hired an interim head coach, John Daze. Daze coached at Marlborough for the 2017 season, but left to coach beach volleyball at Pepperdine. Daze’s coaching experience and familiarity with the Marlborough program, Actyve Club Volleyball and Pepperdine leaves us hopeful for what the team has left for the season.
The future of the head coach position for the Varsity Volleyball team at Marlborough has not been decided, but the athletics department will begin searching for a new head coach after the end of the season in October.
Despite uncertainty around this year’s volleyball season, the team captains have been a valuable support system for their fellow players through boosting team morale and being an encouraging and supportive teammate and captain on and off the court. “The older players have unfortunately been through coaching changes, and they’re resilient,” Athletic Director Sheila Pauley said. “The biggest change I’ve noticed on the team is seeing everyone step up and take on more ownership and leadership.”