BY ANTHONY BARNES, INTERN
THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz
Newly-hired coach Rebecca Chase hopes to put the spark back into the Natomas High School varsity girls volleyball program.
The Nighthawks haven’t won a league match since 2005, but Chase would like this season to change that record.
Their first game is still a month away, yet the girls have already been training for six weeks.
“I get 18 to 20 of them every practice and every single one of them stays for lifting afterwards,” said Chase, “even though they know it’s all optional.”
The girls’ improvements, she said, have been “incredible.”
Chase said she expects her team to win at least half of its league games this season as a result of the hard work.
Natomas High’s athletic director Anthony Agrella said Chase is a good fit for the school.
“She has a long time playing and coaching background, despite being fairly young,” he said. “She values education and understands the goals of the NHS athletic program to get athletes to college and have multi-sport athletes.”
Chase was a standout volleyball player at Rio Americano High and has coached for the Xceleration Volleyball Club.
“She was a multi-sport athlete,” Agrella said. “But she also has a solid coaching background with high-level club volleyball which is as important.”
Chase agreed it’s a fine line between teaching the game and being competitive.
“The kind of character development that I gained from volleyball and sports taught me discipline over time,” she said. “Even if they don’t become great volleyball players, I think there is plenty of reward in the process.”
Agrella said he’d like to see this year’s team improve over last season.
“We want to be more competitive, we want more girls in the program, and we want to keep improving in the classroom,” he said. “Those are the successes that will be my main focus this first year (with Chase).”
The Nighthawks’ first volleyball match of the season will take place Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. when River City travels to play at Natomas High School.