• 66°

Robin Jeffries to take over Poplarville volleyball program

Robin Jeffries is the new head coach of the Poplarville Lady Hornets volleyball program after previous coach Jonathan Ray took an assistant principal position at the high school.

Jeffries had coached the sport before, but it was in the early 2000s while in Houston, Texas, so there were some adjustments that had to be made.

“The game has changed a little bit, but it’s still got your basics. It wasn’t hard for me to get right back in there. I just have to refresh some of my drills and so forth,” Jeffries said.

Jeffries hosted a three round tryout so that she could lessen the number of players in the gym at any one time.

In the end, 54 athletes tried out for the team with 25 making the actual roster.

Jeffries said there were a variety of COVID-19 guidelines the players had to adhere to during the tryout process, including spraying down equipment with disinfectant, working in small groups, observing social distancing and using hand sanitizer consistently.

The program is only heading into its second year of existence, and because it’s such a young program the focus has been on teaching the players the fundamentals of volleyball.

Since Jeffries didn’t take the helm until June, and then had the athletes go through a vigorous tryout process, Jeffries said the team held a camp to continue each athlete’s education in the game.

Jeffries is also the girls basketball coach at the high school, but because the schedules don’t overlap she said taking charge of the volleyball team was an easy choice to make.

“It’s a short season sport and it ends before basketball starts so there was no conflict there. And I just like coaching period. It really was a no brainer when I said I’ll just step in and coach it this year,” Jeffries said.

Some changes have been made to the team’s strategy with Jeffries deciding to change from a two setter line up to a one setter line up.

However, the athletes have been able to adjust and now the team is looking forward to the start of the season, while still keeping the athletes’ safety at the forefront.

“First of all I want us to be safe and have safety first. We will continue to follow the guidelines put out there. If we’re able to play out the season I’m very competitive and I want to win, and I think the team wants to win (too),” Jeffries said.