For Head Coach Doug Carlson, volleyball has been a way of life for as long as he can remember.
“My dad was a high school volleyball coach, so I grew up playing,” Carlson said.
After high school he played for a men’s club team at Pacific Lutheran University for four years before getting his first coaching job at Tacoma Community College at 22 years old.
Carlson has been on staff at Pierce for three years as operations manager of the Health Education Center at the Ft. Steilacoom campus. This is his first year coaching the women’s volleyball team.
“He’s nice and he’s pretty constant,” said outside hitter Amanda Warner. “You know what to expect from him and he’s steady. He never makes emotional decisions.”
This season has seen its fair share of injuries, but the team and Carlson have worked through the setbacks.
The coach’s tactic for keeping the team strong is to be sure players not relying on one key member.
“If we start depending on somebody and they get injured, then the whole thing would fall apart,” Carlson said.
It’s apparent that the practices Carlson is running are producing results in his players. The women have improved and it shows in their play.
“They really helped me to learn how to adjust to every set and taught me how to swing line better,” says outside hitter Sheanee Gago of Carlson and his assistant coach, Kylie Jeffers. “My blocking is better too.”
Though it’s been a difficult first year, the players are young and talented.
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