Under the guidance of new club director Bailey Steger and two new coaches, Cooper Ge and Andrew Liu, the Breakwater Volleyball Club’s 14-year-old girls squad has put together a volley of impressive victories over the past two weeks.
Two weekends ago the team entered as underdogs seeded seventh out of nine teams in its bracket for the third leg of the competitive, six-part Northern California Volleyball Association’s Premier League tournament in Oakland. In previous tournaments, the Coastside girls struggled against the team from
the vaunted Frisco Bay Volleyball Club. The two clubs met early in
the day in Oakland, and Frisco Bay took the first of three games. However, Breakwater came back to sweep the remaining two and notch a victory.
The comeback victory seemed to shift the mindset for Breakwater. When the two teams met again in the championship match later in the day, Breakwater swept the first two sets, both with a score of 25-14, to win the tournament.
The busy club volleyball schedule did not leave much time for the team to savor its victory. The next tournament in the Premier League series took place last Sunday at the San Mateo County Event Center. This time the Coastsiders came in atop the rankings. Their new position in the seedings meant that their morning began by facing the 13-and-under Breakwater squad they frequently see while practicing. The elder unit prevailed and continued to play throughout the afternoon.
The Breakwater 14s completed the day by defeating all four of their opponents and repeating as tournament champions. The championship match against Hunters from Santa Rosa began competitively with the teams splitting the first two sets. In the third set, Breakwater team members asserted themselves. Tina Marzocca served 14 balls in a row, and Breakwater blanked its opponent, 15-0.
Breakwater’s top 16-and-under team also won its division on Saturday at the San Mateo tournament, giving Stegner an impressive run of titles after taking over the club at the start of this year.
As a Half Moon Bay High School graduate, Steger, who is also an assistant coach at Dominican University in San Rafael, brings a strong Bay Area network to her role as club director. Speaking before their second tournament victory in a row, Ge and Lui, who both grew up in the San Jose area and played collegiate volleyball in the Midwest, said they got to know Steger at various clinics before she recruited them as coaches.
Though the new coaches credit years of Breakwater training for guiding the girls to the recent victories, they recognize that bringing in new coaches can push players. “In the beginning they respected us a bit more” than familiar coaches, Liu said. By running different drills and evaluating player skills with fresh eyes, they think they might have been able to increase the girls’ abilities and determination.
Both coaches said they’re still learning people skills and figuring out the best strategies for working with kids. As Ge observed, “Coaching is something you’re never master of. You’re always learning.”
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.