|2010 LADY BUCCS VOLLEYBALL...
A new face takes over the Covington volleyball program, but the ultimate goal is the same.
There's a new philosophy being established in the Covington volleyball program, a primary focus on all out effort, intensity and fundamentals.
It's being implemented by first-year head coach Lindsey Sullenberger, who takes over the Covington program from former coach Jim Smith.
"We want to play an up tempo style," said Sullenberger. "It's going to take some time for the kids to get accustom to it, but so far they've done a good job of accepting the coaching."
The transition has been made fairly easy as Covington returns eight players who lettered a year ago, including seniors Josselyn Tobias and Emily Henry.
"We do have some kids who have some experience, so that helps, Sullenberger said. "It's a matter of how fast they adjust to me and my style of coaching that will determine the wins and losses. We're focused on improving one game at a time and hopefully being able to compete at a high level come tournament time."
Since the first day Sullenberger arrived she began changing the mindset of the kids, primarily through the conditioning program she implemented. The program has been of high intensity and even involved weight training.
"The first time I told the kids we were heading to the weight room, they looked at me like I was crazy," chuckled Sullenberger. "But they kept open minds and now they are seeing the benefits of it. The girls are better conditioned then they were a couple of months ago when I got here."
To play at the fast tempo Sullenberger feels Covington needs to play at in order to compete with the better teams in the area, conditioning and all out hustle will be the key.
"We will be conditioned," Sullenberger emphasized. "We'll also focus on having sound fundamentals and giving maximum effort. I know the kids will make mistakes and that's expected. But we won't accept not giving effort. For example, if you dive for a ball and it still drops, that's one thing. But if a ball drops because you didn't move your feet, that's not acceptable. That's the mentality we have to have."
And so far, the girls are buying into it.
"The girls are starting to understand it," continued Sullenberger. "I know its going to take some time, but overall these kids are taking to the coaching."
Covington has the talent to implement Sullenberger's style of play, beginning with the two seniors, Tobias and Henry.
"Our seniors will be the key for us," Sullenberger said. "We need them to provide leadership. We need them to set the tone every day by leading by example."
Juniors Haley Reames, Caitlyn Crawford, Shelby Kihm and Hannah Pond also return, along with sophomores Zoe Reck and Shelby Waag.
"We have the makings of a pretty good volleyball team," said Sullenberger. "But its going to take a commitment to improve every single day, not only in the games, but in practice. Of course we want to win every game we play and we'll focus on one game at a time. But we're not going to focus on our record. What we're going to focus on is improving one day at a time and everything else with take care of itself."
Which is the new philosophy being established in Covington.