Recovering a champion team

Her short-term memory may have been lost for a time, but her determination wasn’t.

Last season, Head Volleyball Coach Brenda Williams was out with a concussion for eight weeks. It took valuable teaching time away from her team, but allowed Williams to evaluate her program. Now, with a new focus and her eyes on bringing her team back to a championship level, Williams has brought in two new coaches.

“They’re more eyes than just my own,” Williams said. “Young and ready to go. That really helps my job.”

Rachelle Wiegand from Bethel College has been hired for the varsity team. Morgan Fox from Juniata College has been hired for the junior varsity team. Both played volleyball for all four years of college. Both describe ONU’s volleyball team as a coachable, eager team.

Williams found Wiegand at a coaching convention and Fox approached Williams after finding out that Williams was looking for a GA assistant.

“Rachelle is more of the lively talkative one: bringing this energy to the team. Morgan is more of a quiet, steady, composed person: the kind of person you need on any team to process things and keep us in line,” junior varsity and assistant coach Luke Ward said. “It’s been easy-going ever since I met them.”

Both Wiegand and Fox are on board with Williams’ vision for the program.

“She is already implementing [the vision]. The girls are learning that it takes a lot of hard work, that it takes girls who are willing to hold each other accountable. If you want to play at that national level, it comes down to being dedicated, because it comes down to who wants it more,” Wiegand said.

In 2011, the Tigers ended their season 28-13, according to the NAIA. At the end of 2012, the team’s season record dropped to 11-28. In 2013, it the Tigers ended at 21-21. The team was challenged by three nationally ranked opponents in their first tournament this year, according to ONU Marketing. The tigers are currently 1-3.

“They need to understand what a championship culture looks like, and they’re starting to learn that,” Wiegand said.







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