By Emily Larkin, Managing and Online Editor
After a coaching switch this semester, the Newman volleyball team has started preseason play with hope and a new approach, said new head coach Jose Lugo.
Lugo, who took over from Destiny Clark who took another coaching job in Rhode Island, started as the new volleyball coach on July 25.
Within just three weeks of being head coach, he and his team have worked to establish a new system of excellence around the volleyball program, Lugo said.
Lugo, who has previously been the head coach of beach volleyball at Grand Canyon University in Arizona, said that though beach and indoor volleyball have their differences, he has been able to find techniques to transfer into his job at Newman.
“The mechanics of the sports are so different, but the eye patterns— what you’re looking at defensively and offensively— how you’re seeing the block and what defense you’re seeing behind the block those things transfer very, very well.”
Senior Yemina Buana said she admired Lugo’s determination and plan for the program to succeed.
“He is very passionate about what he does,” Buana said. “You can tell that he has big visions for the volleyball program in the future.”
One aspect of Lugo’s vision for the program is that it is not enough to just prepare during practice on the court; other aspects come into play too.
“It’s about establishing a culture of excellence not just in wins and losses but in what we are doing in the gym everyday to help us prepare for that,” he said. “It’s about preparedness and about taking care of the details. If you’re not strong in the classroom, you’re not strong on the court either. It is an all- encompassing thing.”
Despite a 1-2 finish in their matches last week, Lugo is looking forward to a building semester full of hope and dedication.
“What I saw was this desire to go improve and to stay in our systems. It doesn’t always work out, but that’s okay. They are working at it. They are trying to be better overall.
Buana said her expectations for the season lie in working harder than she ever has before.
“You can expect us to play every game like it’s our last and fight to have a successful season,” Buana said.
The Lady Jets open the Jet Classic today at 5 p.m. against Central Missouri in Fugate Gymnasium.
Photo: JOSE LUGO spent the 2014-15 season at Grand Canyon University where he coached collegiate beach volleyball. Emily Larkin, Managing and Online Editor