Trae Stouard is a senior staff writer with The Rider Chronicle. His favorite thing to pass the time in the summer is to play cards with his grandparents....
Q/A with volleyball coach Julie Yandell
August 24, 2022
Rider head volleyball coach Julie Yandell is back into coaching after years away from the sport, and she is happy to be here.
Yandell previously coached at Wichita Falls High School for five years before working in the district. Now she’s leading the Lady Raiders, who are 10-3 heading into a weekend tournament after Friday’s win over Iowa Park.
The Rider Chronicle sat down with Yandell to talk about team expectations, goals and challenges.
Q: What encouraged you to begin coaching again?
A: When I was offered a job here, it had a coaching position. The head volleyball coach left and so I volunteered to step in and be the new head coach. I just really wanted to get back involved and work with the kids. I love volleyball.
Q: How do you feel about this season so far?
A: I feel like the season is going very well. We have a very great group of girls. I feel pretty fortunate and pretty blessed that the team that I have this year is the team that I have, they’re fantastic. They’re very receptive and they’ve been very welcoming to me and I just really can’t ask for a better group. They´re playing really hard, they´re being very scrappy and I´m just really excited for this season, I think it’s going to be a good one.
Q: What’s the expectations for the team this year?
A: Expectations for the team are to just stay really conditioned, work really hard on the court. I don’t want the girls focusing on winning every game, I want them to focus on winning each point, because if you focus on winning each point, then the game will take care of itself, and just to always do their best. Remember that we are a family and just to listen and be receptive. My expectations are for them to just keep being them, because they really are just great kids.
Q: What do you think about the record for the season so far?
A: I think our record is pretty good, I haven’t been disappointed at all. We did come up short in three games at a tournament a couple of weeks ago, but in all of those games, we went to three sets. So the girls really did fight hard. The games that we had lost have not been by a big margin, and I just think that it shows that the girls really are fighting for every single point so I´m really very pleased with them.
Q: What are the goals you wish to meet this year with your team?
A: The goals I wish to meet this year is just I want the girls to be better and stronger than how they started at the beginning of the season. I just want them all to have some real growth and not only just being a volleyball player, but also being just fantastic women and preparing them for what’s next. After volleyball we have six seniors (Caraline Underwood, Corinne Ashcraft, Grayson Yowell, Jenna Redding, Kendall Toliver and Lauren Ramirez) this year that are leaving, and so I just hope that they take some stuff that we learned in volleyball and carry with them to the next chapter of their life.
Q: Are there any challenges for your team that you may have to face this year?
A: I think it’s always a challenge when you have a brand new coach. Coach (Alysha) Humpert was here for 10 years, and so kind of having a different coaching staff and a different dynamic. I think can be challenging for every team. I think all the girls on varsity and the freshmen have really adapted well to some of the changes with the volleyball program has had this year, but I just think that’s probably just the biggest challenge is just trying to find out rhythm within our program. It’s not the same program as it was before, it’s different. I´m really excited, I think our district is going to be challenging. We got a couple of new teams that we’re going to be facing but I don’t think it’s anything that our girls can´t handle.