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Administration hires new head, assistant volleyball coaches

Special+education+teacher+Teresa+Van+Epps+%28left%29+will+take+the+position+of+volleyball+head+coaching+position+and+business+and+graphics+teacher+Morgan+Westervelt+%28right%29+will+take+an+assistant+coaching+position.
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Administration hires new head, assistant volleyball coaches

Special education teacher Teresa Van Epps (left) will take the position of volleyball head coaching position and business and graphics teacher Morgan Westervelt (right) will take an assistant coaching position.

Special education teacher Teresa Van Epps (left) will take the position of volleyball head coaching position and business and graphics teacher Morgan Westervelt (right) will take an assistant coaching position.

Photo by: Rebeccah Jones

Special education teacher Teresa Van Epps (left) will take the position of volleyball head coaching position and business and graphics teacher Morgan Westervelt (right) will take an assistant coaching position.

Photo by: Rebeccah Jones

Photo by: Rebeccah Jones

Special education teacher Teresa Van Epps (left) will take the position of volleyball head coaching position and business and graphics teacher Morgan Westervelt (right) will take an assistant coaching position.

Story by Joseph Lee, Print Editor

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Administration has hired special education teacher Teresa Van Epps for the volleyball head coaching position and business and graphics teacher Morgan Westervelt for an assistant coaching position.

Van Epps and Westervelt will be replacing head coach Megan Mantooth and assistant coach Bridgett Lancaster, who both resigned in November last year due to family reasons.

Athletic director Jeff Staley spearheaded the search, overseeing the interview process and hiring the new coaches.

“I wanted somebody with an extensive background, both as a player and a coach,” Staley said. “I wanted somebody that believes in the same philosophies that we do: being a Dragon and what that means.”

Van Epps played at Waldorf Community College in Iowa and Winona State University in Minnesota. In addition to her scholastic volleyball background, Van Epps has coached high school volleyball for 12 years and coached club volleyball for 24 years. In Minnesota, she was named Coach of the Year twice.

One of Van Epps’s goals in the upcoming season is to bring unity within the team.

“Volleyball is a game that you cannot play by yourself. You really want those players that are selfless players. If we do the little things right, good things will happen. The W’s will come, the stats will come,” Van Epps said. “[I hope to bring] that energy and that dynamic into not only the coaching but also the playing, to spark that energy amongst the girls and within the program.”

Westervelt played scholastic volleyball throughout her middle and high school years and club volleyball for six years. She also played for two years at Neosho Community College.  

Volleyball is a game that you cannot play by yourself. You really want those players that are selfless players.”

— Teresa Van Epps

“I believe it is important to coach with a passion for the game while maintaining sportsmanship,” Westervelt said.

Van Epps, Westervelt and assistant coach Amber Qualls will hold their first practice of the 2019-20 fall season on Aug. 18.

“I am hoping that through all my playing and coaching I will bring experience to the program,” Westervelt said. “I am looking forward to getting in the gym this summer to not only prepare for season, but to also begin getting to know the girls.”

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