Highland Hires New Volleyball Coach
Aug 14, 2015 10h25
● By Bryan Scott
By Ron Bevan
Hoping for a return to its glory years, the Highland High girls volleyball team has hired a new coach.
Tea Sitake takes over the helm this season after five years coaching at East and Hillcrest high schools.
“This is a great fit for me as I have a lot of family history at Highland,” Sitake said. “My husband is an alumni of Highland and I have a lot of nieces and nephews that go to Highland.”
Sitake herself is a 2000 graduate of Granite High School, where she competed as a setter on the Farmer volleyball team. She later took her volleyball skills to the collegiate level at Dixie.
“I love this sport because of its team atmosphere,” Sitake said. “I am just so passionate about the technical and tactical way it is played. You have to not only be in great physical shape, but you have to be mentally strong as well or you can’t succeed at volleyball.”
The Rams are hoping Sitake can turn around a program that once produced four-time Olympian Logan Tom.
“Knowing we have her legacy in the background gives us a drive to live up to her example,” Sitake said.
But recently, Highland has posted four consecutive losing seasons, showing a 23-48 record over the span, including a 7-14 posting last season. The Rams made the playoffs only once during the last four years, coming up short in the consolation round.
Sitake hopes to turn that around and already has some ideas coming in.
“My first impression was that there was very little team cohesion,” Sitake said. “I want to turn that around and make it feel not only like a team, but a family unit for the girls. I want to bring more unity to the team. It is already starting to work. I have noticed a little bit of if setting in during open gym times we have had prior to tryouts.”
But she hasn’t felt like the new kid at the school, as Sitake has noticed the entire faculty at Highland has been very warm to her.
“Everybody here has welcomed me from the beginning, and I haven’t even started the season yet,” Sitake said. “The school is very family oriented and they have been willing to help me with the transition from Hillcrest.”
The Rams’ first match will be with Park City Sept. 3
“I can’t wait for the season to begin,” Sitake said. “This is going to be a fun year.”