Lori Smith coached the Peninsula High volleyball team from 1994 to 1997 before vacating the position to spend time raising her children.
Now that her children are adults, Smith decided it was time to give the program another shot.
“It’s been a long time,” Smith said. “I gave a lot of thought to whether or not I had the energy to get back into it. That’s how that came about.”
Smith, 56, has been teaching at Peninsula High School for 35 years. She currently teaches health. She was a middle hitter at Eastern Washington University in the late 1970s and her passion for volleyball got her into teaching.
“I decided it would be a good thing to get back into,” she said. “I enjoy working with a group of students that I really get to know.”
Peninsula is winless so far, with an 0-6 record and a young roster.
“There’s a lot to do,” Smith said. “But they’re really nice kids.”
The former college volleyball player is adjusting, too. The game is different now than it was when she coached last.
“The game itself has a libero now,” Smith said. “It didn’t when I coached before. So it’s changed a bit.”
Smith sees herself coaching the program for several years. She’d like to see something get put into place that gives young girls in the community a chance play more volleyball before they come to the high school.
“The girls we get either have no experience or they’re playing club,” she said. “I’d like to find something in the middle — club sports can be really expensive. Not all families can afford that. Volleyball is a very high-skill sport. They need to play enough to develop those skills. We just have a lot of girls turning out who have really not played a lot.”
Smith’s squad will have a chance to earn its first win on the road at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 30) against Auburn Mountainview.