New volleyball coach hopes to net success

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Biology sophomore Faith Cox spikes the ball as Karla Killion, American Sign Language sophomore blocks at the second round of volleyball tryouts Jan. 27 in Candler. New head coach Elizabeth Ehrlich opened tryouts for the spring semester. The SAC Rangers will start practices this week with their first game Thursday against Palo Alto. Photo by Deandra Gonzalez

Correction: Coach Liz Ehrlich’s aunt is a director of her volleyball club, Top Gun Volleyball. She is not the director of a team at the San Antonio Sports and Social Club.

Team’s first game is today against Palo Alto College.

By Siera Garcia

The fresh faces of students eager to serve and spike filled Gym 2 as the new women’s volleyball coach held tryouts Jan. 20 and 27 in Candler Physical Education Center.

Coach Liz Ehrlich plans to take the team to a more competitive level with a positive outlook on each game, win or lose.

Their first game is against Palo Alto College at 7 p.m. today in Candler.

The team will have some veteran players returning from last semester, Ehrlich said.

“The goal is to win, but I want the girls to learn more and develop a passion for it just like I do,” she said.

As she started the first round of tryouts Jan. 20, Ehrlich said she looked for attitude, mental toughness and skill of knowledge for the game.

“My train of thought, is can they pass? And if they can, do they deserve to hit?” she said.

She said 16 students tried out for the team and she had planned to take 12 if all commit.   

Players must meet requirements such as keeping a 2.0 GPA and being enrolled in at least nine hours.

“This program holds players to a certain standard. No pass, no play,” said Marisa Martinez, senior specialist of intramural leagues and events.

When searching for a coach, Martinez explained she looked for schedule flexibility and knowledge of the game in the three applicants.

“She knows what she is looking for, and she’s very sure of herself,” Martinez said of Ehrlich.

Before accepting the job as part-time head volleyball coach here, Ehrlich was head volleyball coach at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Middle School for four years. She also coached for four years with her aunt, a director of a team at the San Antonio Sports and Social Club.

Ehrlich, who graduated from high school in 2009, attended UTSA and also was a student in spring 2011 at this college, where she played volleyball and was coached by Martinez.

That was the last year this college’s volleyball team was active. It returned last semester.

When she is not coaching, Ehrlich is studying to earn a real estate license.

Ehrlich said she wants to return to UTSA to complete a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology.

She also plays the position of setter for the San Antonio Sports and Social Club’s sand and indoor volleyball league Monday nights at the Factory of Champions.

Martinez hopes to build the program to get it funded. The women’s volleyball team does not have a budget; therefore the girls will possibly have to fundraise during the semester. To fund the sport, the student activity fee would have to be raised and enrollment would have to increase, she said. Currently the student activity fee is $1 per credit hour.

Games are at 7 p.m. Thursdays in Candler or on the competing team’s turf.

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