The Richmond Oilers volleyball team might face what looks like the Kennedy Eagles soccer team Tuesday after school if the Eagles volleyball team doesn’t get new volleyball uniforms in time. Not to mention regulation-size balls. The team could use some of those, too.
The Eagles’ first-year coach, Lisa Schaaf, told her squad before Monday’s practice that if they don’t have uniforms by the 4 p.m. sky ball, the soccer team would lend them theirs.
Time to start praying to the FedEx gods. Or time to start playing volleyball with shin guards.
Schaaf’s story as a volleyball head coach begins like many Hollywood actors from the Midwest—with no money in their front pocket, a lot of dreams in their back pocket, and a degree in mathematics.
The Eagles bank account for volleyball, meanwhile, is in need of a math expert. According to Schaaf, there was only $15 rattling in its piggy bank when she took over.
“I signed up to be the JV coach, but the guy that was supposed to coach didn’t come back and teach,” she said. “Right now we’re practicing with eight PE balls for 25 girls. The athletic director downtown is ordering us balls and uniforms, though we don’t know where they are yet.”
Harry Campbell, former Kennedy volleyball coach, said the program has seen better days. “The problem is we change coaches and teachers too much,” he said. “Because of that the equipment keeps getting lost, stolen, and then we’re starting all over again. I just think they [school administrators] should be doing them [the team] a little bit better than that.”
Never a pessimist, Schaaf told her girls not to worry about the uniforms or game balls because everything was out of their hands. Rather, the student athletes needed to focus on getting in shape and practicing their cross-court shots.
And with that, her squad pulled up their mismatched socks and took off running around the gym. They practiced serves, sets, and spikes—and even ran some new plays during an intra-squad scrimmage.
Senior co-captain Tyaashia Carminer said her favorite things to do on the court is dive and spike the ball over the net. “We’ve been doing a whole bunch of running, learning plays, and serving,” she said about their preparation for the Oilers. “I don’t really know much about Richmond, but it’s our first game so of course we’re excited.”
“I’m a little nervous,” Schaaf admitted about coaching her first varsity game. “It’s a learning experience. We’ll figure it out.”
The game is Tuesday at 4 p.m. in Kennedy’s gym.