- Published on Tuesday, 09 July 2002 20:23
- Written by Pete Borello - Town Crier Staff Writer
The Mountain View High girls volleyball team will enter a new era this fall.
The Spartans will play in a new division and under a new coach.
Gerrie Phillips, hired in the spring, takes over a team being promoted from the El Camino Division to the De Anza Division of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League.
Considering the De Anza Division features many of the Central Coast Section's top teams - including perennial playoff teams Los Altos, Los Gatos and Monta Vista - Phillips has her work cut out for her. Especially since Mountain View will be brimming with youth.
"This will be a building year for us," said Phillips, who coached the Spartans' freshmen girls and junior varsity boys teams last season.
However, the Indiana native still expects to field a competitive team.
"A couple of our goals will be to finish with over a .500 season and to make it to the CCS playoffs," she said.
Mountain View athletic director Dan Navarro, who promoted Phillips, wouldn't be surprised if his new coach accomplishes both things.
"She's good," he said. "She'll do a good job for us."
What makes her so good?
"She's very organized and teaches good fundamentals," Navarro said. "She's tough, yet kind to the kids. She demands the best out of the kids without screaming at them."
The key to volleyball success, according to Phillips, is dedication.
"This means players, coaches and parents - everyone involved with the program," she said. "Playing in the offseason and coming to the first day of tryouts already in shape will be key elements to building a successful program at Mountain View."
Phillips has been coaching volleyball for 13 years, starting out at Liberty Middle School in Chesterton, Ind. She later coached at Wheeler and Kankakee Valley highs and for Dunes Volleyball Club in the midwest.
Upon moving to California in 1998, Phillips coached for Vision Volleyball Club and currently coaches with Lokahi Volleyball Club. Beside her duties at Mountain View in 2001-02, Phillips led Blach Junior High's eighth-grade girls to a league crown.
Some of these girls will be trying out for the Mountain View team in the fall, along with players Phillips coached on the freshman squad last season.
"I am very excited about the show of interest in volleyball for next year," she said. "I am anticipating at least 50 or more girls trying out for the three different teams next year. I have been receiving very positive feedback and can't wait for the season to get started."
Phillips replaces Peter Kim, who Navarro said will continue as Mountain View's varsity boys volleyball coach.