Women’s volleyball team gets new coach

South volleyball players take on the competition from Roosevelt in a September 23 game.

South volleyball players take on the competition from Roosevelt in a September 23 game.

Ayan Deria and Samiya Orofeyo, Staff Writers

It’s evident that South has made many changes throughout the school this year. Among changes in general policies, teachers, and grading techniques, the Women’s volleyball team deserves some attention with the hiring of a new coach.

In her first year as South’s volleyball head coach, Kimberly Benka says she’s “excited to be at South.” In high school, Benka played on Orono’s volleyball team. Before coming to South, Benka coached volleyball for ten years, coaching junior varsity at her old high school but most recently coaching at Apple Valley High School. Through her ten years of coaching experience, Benka claims, “I have been all over.”

When asked what she likes about South so far, Benka exclaimed, “I love it, I love the community feeling.” She also speculated that city schools are more relaxed and fun than suburban schools. Even though she feels this to be the atmosphere, Benka stated that one of her goals was to get the volleyball players to play more off-season volleyball.

“I believe [South’s volleyball team] has the same skill level as suburban school girls do,” said Benka. She claimed that most athletes in suburban schools play 11 months of volleyball out of the year, whereas in the city schools, most girls only play 3-6 months of out of the year.

Senior and varsity player Josephine Heyl said about Benka, “She cares about us, she doesn’t yell as much as the Gene [South’s previous volleyball coach].” Heyl added that a difference in Benka’s coaching style is that “she’s good at getting players’ input.” According to Heyl, Benka has done a lot of good for the team, such as making it more organized, getting input, and making a website so the players know their schedule. “She has already made a huge impact, I am sad that I’m graduating because I know it will only get better,” said Heyl.

Junior Natalie Lang seems to have a similar opinion about Benka. “She knows what she’s talking about,” said Lang. When asked how Benka compares to the old coach, Lang responded, “She is more involved and she has a more friendly approach.”

So far, the hiring of Benka seems to be a good decision among players. They will get the chance to redeem themselves against Southwest on October 20, after losing to them in a match on September 28. With a new coach and a positive outlook, the volleyball team has it’s sights set on winning the city title.