It was quite a change from Rachel Hadley’s first season as head coach of the Napa Valley College volleyball program, as the Storm went from a winless 2018 season to 6-16 this fall.
Earning All-Bay Valley Conference honors for NVC were Vintage High graduates Cassidy Schweizer and Sophia Green.
Schweizer, a sophomore setter who frequently could be found in the conference top 5 for serving and hitting percentage, made the All-BVC Second Team.
Green, a sophomore libero, received All-BVC Honorable Mention. She was at one point ranked fourth in the state for aces per set and was frequently found between first and fifth in the BVC for serving. Green hopes to continue her volleyball career at the four-year level.
Also leaving the team after two seasons are sophomore defensive specialist Joana Lamson and sophomore outside hitter Maryanna Reyes, from Bethel and Vintage, respectively.
“I am extremely proud of how our 2019 season played out,” the coach said. “We did exactly what we came to do, which was to improve on our record from the 2018 season. We had our sophomores leading the way. They wanted nothing more than to earn a win after our tough season last year. Pulling out a win in our first match of the season felt like a good omen for what was to come, and it turned out to be just that.
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“Throughout the season we earned four additional wins, including in our final match in three sets over Mendocino after a tough loss to them earlier in the season. It was an especially sweet win as it was our Sophomore Night and we got to send our sophomores off the best way possible. We challenged some of the best teams in the conference, too.”
Hadley hopes to return all of her freshmen, including St. Helena product Madeline David and Napa High alumnus Myla Jacobo, both middle blockers.
“We hope to continue this upward momentum going into the 2020 season and are looking forward to seeing our current freshmen step into veteran roles to lead the team to more victories,” said Hadley.
She said the team stayed driven by frequently revisiting its goals and having visualization meditation sessions led by assistant coach Tony Howell before every practice and game.
“We believe that by training our athletes as a whole – mind, body and spirit – we can get the best out of them in and out of the gym,” Hadley said. “We will continue this practice throughout spring and summer 2020 in addition to training in the sand, weight room and indoors, priming them for the fall season with new additions we are very excited to welcome to the NVC family. We are so grateful for the support we have felt from the Napa community and hope to continue to see new faces each year at our home games.”
The program is still recruiting for next year’s team. Those interested in playing for the Storm should email NVC Director of Volleyball Robert Stamps at email@example.com.