by Hailey Barrus-The year of the coronavirus has left Morningside College in a constant state of change. The change did not stop with the pandemic however. The Mustang volleyball program for both men’s and women’s got new head coaches as well. First year women’s coach, Jessica Squier, and men’s head coach, Theison Anderson, are currently tackling their first year as the heads of their teams amidst the COVID craziness.
The Mustang women concluded their first half of their season in the fall with just under a .500 average winning record with a 10-11 record. This scored the women’s team a ticket to tournament play that will begin in the Spring of 2021 due to COVID. Head coach, Squier, is eager to get back out on the court.
“This year was unlike any other for coaching. There were parts that had easy solutions such as having my girls wear masks on buses, constantly sanitizing, and quarantining if they are sick. However, I was hired on as the head coach only weeks before the pandemic hit back in February of last year, so my biggest challenge at the beginning of our season was getting to know the girls in a much different way than I was expecting”, Squier stated.
Squier has been coaching volleyball for the past decade, and was a Morningside graduate who played for the mustang team years ago.
“My hope for the program’s future is to continue to grow, use better recruitment tactics, and ultimately win that GPAC title”, Squier continued.
As for the men’s team their season is in full swing right now, Coach Anderson was introduced to Morningside College through Coach Squier and the dynamic duo also assistant coach for each other’s programs when they are available.
“This is my first year taking on that ‘head coach’ role so I am constantly learning, and it has been so beneficial to have Jessica with me along the way. She is more than an assistant coach in my eyes. She is a friend and mentor so having her on this journey with me has been very helpful”, Anderson said.
The Mustang men are in the middle of their season and are currently 0-2 in the GPAC.
“We have a young team, and moving forward I would like to make men’s volleyball more of a well known sport within the GPAC and midwest so recruitment for us is going to be key.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams are fronted by a sole senior, Krista Zenk for the women’s team and Kyle Cox for the men’s program. Both programs are young with a lot of potential moving forward both of the coaches stated.