This year at Mary Baldwin College, the volleyball team had a new addition besides its normal incoming freshmen class; they also received a new assistant coach.
Colena Roberts is alum from the graduating class of 2009. She has returned as a graduate student. She is studying for her master’s in education with an emphasis in higher education an adult learning. While getting her master’s degree she volunteers as the assistant volleyball coach for the Fighting Squirrels.
She enjoys coaching for two reasons, “It pays for my master’s degree, and I want to learn for Coach Yee.”
Roberts not only received an undergraduate degree from Baldwin but is also a product of the volleyball program. She said, “It’s nice to come back and see the progress, and to try to be a part of the change.”
This is not Roberts’ first coaching job. She has also coached at the high school level, Junior Varsity to be more accurate. Although, she enjoyed coaching and teaching the younger kids, she prefers to coach at the collegiate level.
Roberts continued to explain the mentality of some players. “Girls will hit hard until they make a mistake. Sometimes girls have a hard time shaking the mistakes off, they will tip it or do whatever they can besides spike it in fear that they will make another mistake.”
If that is the case, how to make the players not afraid to make those mistakes and go for the gold with every shot, hit, and spike? “We as coaches have to use every resource to go out and recruit the best players we can get. The athletics programs are severely underfunded, but we make do with what we have and try to move on from there, replied Roberts.”
She also said, on the topic of recruiting more volleyball-playing students, “If we can just get them on campus, half the battle is won. Getting the prospective onto campus is the hardest part, but if we can convince sound volleyball minded students to come to Baldwin then our future in this conference is looking up.”
Colena Roberts is the breath of fresh air for the Fighting Squirrels volleyball team. Her ideas and ability to speak to the young players may be the saving grace for future seasons.