By Ariel Pacheco, Contributor
Lora Sarich was named the new Jaspers’ head volleyball coach by Manhattan’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Marianne Reilly. Sarich brings with her experience as both a head coach and a player.
As the new Jasper head coach, Sarich is tasked with trying to bring her knowledge and experience from her previous stops before coaching here at Manhattan. She has been successful in multiple places and multiple positions up to this point. Sarich hopes to build a competitive culture, and hopes that the team can be one of the best teams in the conference and improve on the team’s past season.
“I think I can help bring energy and excitement back to the team,” Sarich said. “Our goal is to definitely be competitive and reach where the program was several years ago.” The Jaspers are said to be coming off their worst season since 2012, when the team had 15 wins and 15 losses.
In a press release from the College, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Marianne Reilly says “Lora brings a wide array of volleyball coaching and playing experience to our program,” She continues, “Having been a Division I student-athlete, she understands the challenges of balancing academics and athletics. She will be a fine role model to our student-athletes.”
Sarich has spent the past four seasons as head coach at the University of Northwestern Ohio. She led the team to a total of 79 wins over the course of her time there with only 62 losses total. In 2014 she led her team to the semifinals of the WHAC Tournament.
Sarich also has experience coaching in West Georgia, where as a co-head coach she helped lead the Wolves to a conference championship in 2007 in her first year ever as a coach which speaks to her leadership qualities.
She hopes to use the rest of the spring to get everyone on the same page and implement her new system on both defense and offense. Building chemistry and being able to start working on the teams’ goals for next season is what Sarich hopes to come from spring practices. “We’re going to work really hard to be the best that we can for fall.” Sarich said.
Manhattan is coming off of a 12-20 season in 2016, when the team was 8-10 in conference play. The Jaspers look to bounce back with a roster that has 12 returning players, most of whom will be juniors at the start of next season.. “ We have a good mix.” Sarich said. “It’s really nice to work with a large core group.” She feels the team has room to grow and the outlook of the team suggests this.
Sarich was a four year letter winner at the University of Toledo as libero. She is Toledo’s all time leader in digs. She is also their leader in digs per set in a season and digs per set in a career.
Sarich has also served as Director of Operations at the University of Georgia. Sarich started the program at Point University, where she was able to recruit sixteen players in a span of just five months. The Jaspers are looking forward to seeing what Sarich has in store for the women’s volleyball team this coming fall.