If you think Ivy Chew’s first year as head coach of the SPHS varsity girls volleyball team has her intimidated, think again.
Chew, who’s been coaching boys varsity for the past three years, brings a strong commitment to the team playing as a family. In fact, as a close family.
“I want the girls to experience playing volleyball as a tight-knit family unit,” Chew said in a recent telephone interview with The Review during which she laid out the team’s goals for the upcoming season. “I want them to experience playing as one family with passion and joy.”
Chew wants to improve on last year’s league record, which, at 5-5 left the Tigers fourth in the Rio Hondo League standings and out of the postseason.
Chew acknowledged her approach requires a mental, emotional and physical component, which thus far the girls have been more than willing to engage.
“We had several heart-to-heart conversations about life,” Chew said. “You would have been surprised how open they were about this. We had some incredible talks. We really bonded.”
A close relative of one of the team members had recently passed and that became a subject of discussion.
“I have lost a few friends also and our talks were quite candid and not just about why we wanted to play volleyball but what is important in life,” the coach added. The answer was family and friends.
When the mental part of the game was beginning to sink in – Chew said although the team is getting close as a unit, they are still in a learning stage – it was time for the physical aspects of the game to be highlighted.
“We have three freshmen that bring a winning mentality to the game because of their experience, which is tremendously helpful,” Chew said.
Those key players are Alyssa Sokolow, an outside hitter; Kennedy Taylor, an opposite hitter; and another outside hitter, Abby Garner. Chew also said that senior Kimberly Brown’s experience helps guide the team along with team captains’ Lola Foord and Lindsay Hirano, both sophomores
Chew is confident that with the experience of a Kimberly Brown coupled with the passion and winning experience of the freshmen, this Tiger volleyball team can actually win a championship.
“I think we are a strong team,” Chew said. “This year, we are a little more of a complete team. I do think we can be league champs.”
The Tigers’ first test comes Sept. 11 when they go up against the talented girls volleyball team from Monrovia. Monrovia High School finished second in league standings last season with an 8-2 record.
“They are a very good team,” Chew said. “But so are we.”
2018 SPHS Girls Volleyball Roster
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