Why she was chosen: Saunders took over a program in need of resurgance. The Maidens had won just two matches in their last two seasons, but Saunders returned to her alma mater to make some changes. Waynesboro went 10-8 overall - its first winning season since 2007 - and 9-7 in the Mid Penn Capital Division.
Background: A 1995 graduate of Waynesboro Area Senior High School, Saunders first went to Morgan State University before transferring to Drexel before her junior year. She majored in elementary education and played on the varsity volleyball team during all four years. She then went on to coach at the collegiate level for five years. She spent two years at North Carolina Central University, a season at NC A&T State and two years at High Point University.
On coming in as a new head coach: "Well, being hired so late in the summer, I had a lot to put into place very quickly," Saunders said. "I was trying to instill my coaching philosophy and what I had learned over the years, but it all seemed to go positively."
On preseason expectations: "I was definitely hoping we could make a run for it," Saunders said. "I had a winning season expectation. I thought we'd be defensively scrappy, and if we could quickly learn how to put the ball away and finish points, I thought we could surprise some people, and we did."
On revamping a struggling program: "I went into the season with the theme of bringing back the magic," Saunders said. "That was the theme in Waynesboro when I was there in the 90s, and we were very successful. I completely believe that the girls understand that there is no 'I' in 'team,' but it is necessary for every person to do their job, and the team aspect will follow."
On getting a winning season: "I think the girls are excited," Saunders said. "I'm excited for the program and the direction the program is going in. I think it gives them a lot of energry for the committment to the offseason, and I believe that's going to make a big difference."
On taking the momentum into next year: "That's really important," Saunders said. "Our banquet was all about carrying the momentum, continuing to work hard and also celebrating that in a short amount of time, that if the girls believe in themselves and we as coaches believe in them, we would be able to reach high and achieve our goals."
On her best memory of the season: "Probably the one that sticks out the most is going to Shippensburg, the second match of the season," Saunders said. "They were the co-defending champs; we were on the road. We played a marathon match and walked out with the win at the end. We pulled away with the win, and that was huge in terms of riding that momentum early in the season."
What others say: Chambersburg coach Ty Frelin said, "I'm impressed with what she did down there this year. Compared to where they were last year and what they did this year, I think she did a great job."
Coach of the Year
Name: Kim Saunders
Record: 10-8 (.556)
Highlights: Coached Waynesboro to its first winning season since 2007.
Position: Saunders is the event coordinator at Pictures Plus.
Family: She lives in Waynesboro with her husband, Mark, and her son Ethan, who is 10 years old.
Coaching: After graduating from Drexel in 1995, Saunders spent five years coaching at the collegiate level.