Women’s volleyball looking for success with new coach

Women%27s+volleyball+looking+for+success+with+new+coach

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The Chaminade women's volleyball team has already more wins than all of last year.

The Chaminade women’s volleyball team has started the 2012 season with a new head coach — Kahala Kabalis. The season’s record thus far of 3-5 has already surpassed last year’s 2-21 record.

Coach Kahala Kabalis instructs the team during the match against Hawaii Pacific University on Wednesday, Sept. 12. Photo by Joe Wakazuru.

“So far it’s been a really enthusiastic learning environment and the transition hasn’t been difficult,” said Kabalis. “When you have players that are really willing to make a change in the program and work for success we can get a lot accomplished.”

This year the players are excited for the change. Senior Whitney Viveiros, who is an outside hitter, said Kabalis introduced a wider range of plays and encourages them to stay disciplined defensively and offensively. The team is more focused, better conditioned, and the coach has set standards and goals for them to reach their full potential.

Crystal Powell, a redshirt junior, playing outside hitter and middle blocker, said that Kabalis’ connection with the players is extremely valuable, because it’s easy to approach players the wrong way and get them off their game.

According to Powell, the team’s attitude last year with coach Nahaku Brown was, “Ah we played hard but we didn’t win.” But this year’s motto is “We want to play hard and get the win at the same time.”

The Silverswords this year are hungry for success. The Silverswords were last in the Pac West Conference in the 2011 season. The team was frustrated with the previous coach and her unsuccessful methods. This led to the players taking their anger out on one another. The previous coach didn’t connect to the players and discouraged the team, Powell said.

This year the team is “jelling,” Powell said. So far the women have done a lot of team bonding activities, and the UH sand tournament in the spring improved their knowledge of one another. Kabalis is “inspiring”, This team understands that in order to win and be successful, it must be open to new coaching methods, Powell said.

Freshman Kim Spring, a right side and outside hitter for the Silverswords, leads her team with 101 kills.

Kabalis said the team’s greatest shortcoming this year is that it is one of the shortest teams in the Pac West conference. The Silverswords need to improve their timing of their blocks and play big, she said.

The starting outside hitter Brenda Walker, a freshman stands at 5-foot-6, and outside hitter Matia Spencer, a junior, is only 5-foot-7.

Kabalis and the players share a common goal, which is to have a .500 record this season. Kabalis’ goal over the next three years is to be ranked in the top 3 teams in the conference and to hopefully win a conference championship.

Although last year’s unpleasant season is still lingering in everyone’s minds, the future with Kabalis looks promising.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Kabalis of the success so far. “In the beginning we call it the honeymoon stages, but I feel like our honeymoon has extended and we are still in it and everyone is getting along great.”