After a successful first season at the helm for Westminster as the varsity volleyball coach a season ago, Marcel Bandera anticipates another quality season for the school he has spent the last 14 …
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After a successful first season at the helm for Westminster as the varsity volleyball coach a season ago, Marcel Bandera anticipates another quality season for the school he has spent the last 14 years with.
“I have high expectations of my team,” Bandera said last week in a phone interview. “Every single athlete I have with me, I don’t expect less than what we did last year. I don’t believe how we play is because of one athlete, I believe in six athletes working together.”
Despite going 13-8 (7-3 in conference) in 2018, a slow start didn’t discourage the Lady Wolves from finishing the season on a roll with nine wins in their final 11 contests. Taking that momentum behind six seniors and three other returning players, Westy’s attitude of next woman up is in full motion heading into a new year.
“I have to prepare 6-8 athletes who can become leaders on the court,” Bandera said. “We have to continue to do what we do to train athletes for competition, technically, physically and mentally. We are going to be relying on those three aspects.”
Five seniors (Elizabeth Cedillo, Alyssa Namvong, Fernanda DeAlba, MeMe Chhay and Mitzy Gonzalez) vacated the Westy program in 2018 after helping compile more wins than the prior three seasons combined (11 from 2015-2017). Even after the highly productive year under Bandera, the wily veteran is still is learning every day and knows nothing is going to be handed to him or his team.
“I have learned that I have to treat my athletes with all of the respect as people,” Bandera said. “They have to be pushed hard, and I think the more respect I have for the players as a person, as a student, the more they will be willing to work hard for me. I don’t have to be yelling to them or anything. I just have to earn their respect by the way I treat them.”
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