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New coach’s goal ‘reachable’
Lakewood volleyball has been heading in the right direction for several years now. With the introduction of their new head varsity coach, Tasha Kryger, they might finally break the barrier from a good team to a great team.
With a number of returning starters coming back from last season, the team is experienced, but also have young talent in their incoming freshmen and sophomores. The younger girls make up for their lack of experience by playing in select teams duing the wintertime.
The Cougars had flashes of brilliance last year, and should look to be more dominant this season. Key returning starters for the Cougar women include the quarterback-like setter Peyton Mizell, the serving queen and hit machine Liliya Kibitskaya, the tall spiker Amanda Gregory, the defensive libero Sarah Boe, and always-dependable Jocelyn Shafer.
One starter not returning is former coach Monica Rooney, who is going down to coach the JV Lakewood volleyball squad, a job that was filled by Kryger for the past six years.
Lakewood’s new coach has plenty of experience. She went to South Dakota State on a volleyball scholarship, where she played the team’s setter. The team was fourth in their ultra-competitive conference. Once college was completed she became a varsity volleyball coach for two different high schools in 10 years. After moving to the northwest for her love of hiking, she was offered a teaching job at Lakewood Middle School and became the JV coach for the High School. She always felt her girls were ready for a challenge, and even coached the JV team as if they were varsity. The coaching strategy paid off, as the JV Cougar volleyball squad was 9-5 under Kryger last season.
This year, the Cougar’s are going toward a more fast-tempo offense, which should offer more scoring opportunities. Another game plan for the Cougar women is setting up plays, which will be motioned during the game from the setter.
Coach Kryger said, “My goal is to have these girls be top three in the conference and that is a very reachable goal.”