EAST WENATCHEE — The Eastmont volleyball program has been in a state of flux for a number of years now, but first-year coach Molly Nelson is looking to buck that trend.
“I hope they keep me, and I hope I have the chance” to bring stability to the team, Nelson said. “I would feel privileged to have these families trust me and my coaching staff, and I take that seriously.”
Nelson’s first job at the high school level was last year when she was the junior varisty coach in ex-coach Tim Davidson’s program. But when Davidson stepped down, Nelson was excited to take the reigns of the program.
“My ultimate goal is to restore some pride and respect into the Eastmont program,” she said. “For the athletes and the families that come through, they need to have a great experience that is progressive — that they see their athlete progress in their academics and in their overall self-esteem while playing a competitive game of volleyball.”
The Wildcats are 0-4 overall and 0-3 in Big Nine play so far this season, including a 3-2 to Davis on Tuesday. But despite the lack of tangible success thus far this season, Nelson remains confident that if the program continues to do the right thing, the tipping point isn’t too far away.
“I truly think it can happen at any moment when we have our girls show up 100 percent dedicated to the task at hand,” she said. “We have girls showing progress in their stats — hitting more consistently, serving more consistently. The progress is coming at a good incline. We’re becoming more consistent as players and students of the game.”
Nelson says she is going to remain positive and make sure that attitude trickles down through the program, regardless of the obstacles the team has to overcome this season.
“We are not discouraged, and the reason I say that is because on our varsity alone, we have three different grades represented who have never played together because some of them have never played a varsity volleyball season,” Nelson said. “We’re still trying to figure out how to play as a team and not as individuals. The successes we’re seeing are happening not on the scoreboard but in our team morale and in our momentum.”
The team is also trying to make an impact off the court: Eastmont will be hosting a Digging For Diapers drive when they have back-to-back home games on Oct. 7 and 8. The Wildcats are asking fans to donate diapers for the Grace House. The girls will also do a campaign against distracted driving in the community.