PLAS Volleyball coach humbled in first season

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Pike Liberal Arts School Patriots lost in the AISA class AAA Region 1 Regional tournament on Tuesday night, ending the Patriots season.

The season may not have ended in the manor the Patriots or the fans would have wanted but for first year head coach Kellen Shirley, this season will be one to remember.

Shirley took over the Volleyball program in the summer just before volleyball team workouts were set to begin. Even the Shirley has spend the majority of her life around the game of volleyball, she learned a lot about the game this season every time she stepped on the court.

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Shirley entered the 2015 season as a first-time head coach and had to adjust to many things on the fly.

“I have learned a lot,” Shirley said. “I had only ever known the player side so it was really neat for me to learn about the coaching side of it and learn about all the strategies. I think I grew a lot.”

The Patriots may have not been as successful in 2015 as they would have liked, but Shirley and the Patriots have planted a seed.

“From point A to B I think we made a lot of good progress,” Shirley said. “Our girls are still learning how to play. My main goal was to teach them the basics and go up. I think this year we built a good foundation to build on starting next year.

“I think next year it will be a lot easier to just go in and implement those right off the bat,” Shirley said. “There won’t have to be as much teaching there will be more precision.”

She said the players also had been receptive to her efforts this season.

“I made some mistakes and I’m willing to admit that. I couldn’t ask for a better team for my first year for the support that I had going into the season. I am very blessed, God really blessed me with that.”

What Shirley will remember the most about her first season as a head coach is the foundation and relationships that developed.

“When I played there was no foundational building, we all just grew up together. This year was a humbling opportunity for me to start at the bottom and really appreciate the good times.”

When Shirley took things over in the off-season she had high goals for her team and for herself. Even though it may not have been evident on the scoreboard, she believes those goals were met.

“I realized it’s not only about the winning,” Shirley said. “Its about at the end of the day did we really learn something.

Sometimes it takes these years to rebuild before you really have a good team. That is something that I learned the most.”