New coach to lead Rancho Cotate volleyball program
Cox to lead team with nice balance of youth, experience in upcoming season
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By Michael Moritz   August 22, 2014 12:00 am

A new chapter in Rancho Cotate High volleyball begins on Wednesday, Aug. 27, when the Cougars travel to Forestville to take on the El Molino High Lions. That is when Alyssa Cox makes her coaching debut for Rancho Cotate, a team that is young but experienced.

Cox was offered several scholarships out of high school, but instead decided to enlist in the military.  After serving her country, her passion for the sport remained the same, so she took a job coaching at Redwood High School in Larkspur.

The season opener will mark the second time this month the Cougars will be on the same court as the Lions. Last Sunday, the two teams scrimmaged during a Sonoma State University Volleyball camp. Although no score was kept, it gave both teams a read on each other.

“The girls played really well,” Cox said. “We’ll definitely have a good fighting chance on Wednesday.”

Like most Fall sports, tryouts were held on Monday and workouts began a week prior.  Although this year’s starting lineup will only feature three seniors, Cox is confident that her team’s youth won’t be a factor.

“A few things might work differently than last year, but I don’t think our team’s age will have any negative impact on our performance,” she said.

That could prove to be an accurate statement considering her younger players’ talent.  Seniors Tawni Cox, Brianna Wambold, and Maddison Hotaling are expected to provide leadership for the younger players, even those who have experience on the varsity level.

Outside hitter Patty Ward, a junior and sophomore middle blocker Kaela Velles both played varsity last year.

The Cougars play their first tournament, the Nor Cal Invitational, Saturday, Sept. 6, at Bethel High School in Vallejo.  The following week they’ll compete in the Greg Paganini Tournament at Sonoma Valley High School in Sonoma.  Preparation for those two tournaments will include a Sept. 3 tilt with Terra Linda and a Sept. 9 matchup against American Canyon. Both of those games will be in the Rancho Cotate gymnasium starting at 6 p.m.

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