Swetnam steps up as new coach

VOLLEYBALL After enduring a rigorous training program and a 9-3 record in Summer league, the Lady Brahmas are poised to improve from last season.

Amy Miyahara, Asst. A&E Editor

Despite having a frustrating season last year and facing several changes in coaching staff, the DBHS varsity volleyball team is confident and excited to power into this season.

Health and P.E. teacher Becky Bevans, who had previously coached volleyball from 2001 to 2012, returned as  head coach last season, while new Spanish teacher Katie Swetnam served as the assistant coach. This year, Bevans has stepped aside for Swetnam, who played volleyball when she was a student at DBHS. She  received a full athletic scholarship to play Division I volleyball at the University of Baltimore.

“Because we have a great coach, we’re learning a lot, and we had the entire summer to gel and mesh well…I think we’re good with playing together and playing off each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” varsity captain Taylor Williams said via Facebook.

As the new head coach, Swetnam said  that she isn’t planning on making dramatic changes, but rather wants to build  from the work that was done last season.

Swetnam said  that the girls’ friendship and good chemistry on and off the court has positively impacted their playing.

“This year, we’re really lucky because all of our girls are friends on and off the court, so they mesh really well on the court,” Swetnam said. “They’re not afraid to give each other constructive feedback and help each other out on the court.”

The girls ended last season with a disappointing league record of 1-9. To improve this season, the Lady Brahmas started training early this summer, even working out on their own when no formal practices were scheduled. Their hard work paid off, as they finished their summer league games with a 9-3 record.

After a great summer, the team has continued its hard work into the school year. In addition to daily practices, the girls are in the weight room multiple times a week. They have also done athletic conditioning, such as running on the track, to improve their speed and agility. Even through intense training, the girls make sure to enjoy themselves on the court.

“Although we are serious about training hard and staying focused, we also like to make sure we’re having fun. I love that the team is really good at that,” senior varsity captain Harman Dhillon said via Instagram.

The varsity team lost seven seniors after last season, but are still returning strong with 10 returning players and four first-year varsity players. Of the ten, seven are seniors; team captains Camie Ahn, Alyssa Bloomfield, Dhillon, and Williams, as well as Karen Bustillo, Gabrielle Cortes, and Molly Hummel.

Currently the team has a 1-2 record. So far this season, the team has defeated rival Walnut in three straight sets during their match last Tuesday, 25-21, 25-22, 25-18. They have lost to Monrovia in three sets, 25-17, 25-20, and 25-13. In their game last Thursday, they lost to Brea Olinda in four sets. They won the first set 25-10, but lost the following three sets, 25-13, 25-22, and 25-18.