The fall sports season is almost upon us. With that comes a fair share of football talk, but there are plenty of story lines in other sports as well. In girls volleyball, Hanover finished second in Division III last season with an 11-11 record before replacing head coach Reagan Bitler with Liz Garber during the offseason. Garber, a Hanover native, was an assistant coach in Virginia for three years before returning home to York County. She recently spoke with GametimePA.com about what to expect in her first season and what life as a rookie head coach is like.
Question: Your athletic director told me this is your first season. When did you accept the position? Was it expected or a surprise?
Answer: Yes, this is my first year. I started coaching with Hanover when club-ball season started. Mr. Bitler said he was looking for someone to coach because he was resigning. That was when I initially showed interest. By the time I officially got the position I had actually been coaching the girls all through club season and summer.
Q: Who else is on the coaching staff with you?
A: Dean Marcionette.
Q: Have you coached before?
A: I have not been a head coach before this season. I was an assistant coach for three years in Virginia and coached club volleyball teams.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I am from Hanover, but I went to school at Carroll Christian in Westminster, Maryland.
Q: What are you most looking forward to this season?
A: I am looking forward to everything! I have a great group of girls who I have bonded closely with already. I want to see them succeed and have fun.
Q: Hanover finished near the top of the division last season. What are the expectations this season?
A: Hanover has had a strong program in the past and I expect to keep that going as I take over.
Q: Going into this first week of practice, what are some things you’re going to have your eye on?
A: Our first week of practice went great. We have small numbers so I am making sure my girls are ready to play long games. We had a scrimmage on Saturday that was beneficial to work out some little kinks before we get going.
Q: It may be too early to tell, but what would you say is a strength of this year's team?
A: I think the strength on this team is that the core players have played together for a while now. They know each others' habits and work well on the floor together.
Q: What's the biggest challenge in taking over a head coaching position?
A: The biggest challenge by far is keeping up with paperwork, meetings, rules and just making sure I have schedules right.
Q: When you're not coaching volleyball, what do you like to do?
A: I like spending time with my family and friends. Going out to movies or to get food is usually where I will be.
Q: What's a bus ride to an away game like with a girls volleyball team?
A: We have only had one van ride that was close so it was pretty uneventful. But I believe we will have many memories occur as we travel.