Trojan volleyball has a new coach and a new team

Returning player Katie Alexander runs drills with fellow team hopefulls at try-outs on Thursday afternoon.

YUCCA VALLEY — The Lady Trojan volleyball teams are gearing up for the 2019-’20 season with two days of tryouts under the leadership of their new coach, Tammy Rhodes.

New to the program, Rhodes is originally from Santa Cruz. A longtime athlete, she has been coaching volleyball for more than 20 years and most recently coached at Barstow High School before moving to the Morongo Basin two years ago.

“I coached club for several years out of state and I have a lot of experience coaching high school girls as well,” she said. “I think I will bring something new to the program.”

Rhodes has been working with some of the returning athletes over the summer and said that, while she is just getting to know the team, she already sees a lot of potential.

“The team is coming off of a winning season and it’s clear that these girls are winners,” Rhodes said.

The varsity Trojans went 13-1 last year and tied with Coachella Valley for the Desert Valley League championship before advancing to the second round of division playoffs.

Rhodes’ goal for the season is to keep that winning spirit alive while also focusing more on teamwork and camaraderie.

“It doesn’t matter how great one player is if they can’t work with other players,” she said. “I see a lot of room for this team to grow when it comes to working together so that’s going to be a main focus of mine in preseason training.”

This week the coach is looking for new players in two days of tryouts at the Yucca Valley High School gym. 

About 50 students came out to the gym Thursday night to compete for a maximum of 24 spots on the varsity and junior varsity teams.

“There’s a lot of girls here today and we can’t keep everyone but it’s really exciting to see this many students interested in the program,” Rhodes said.

She planned to hold another tryout session Friday night. After the teams are named, the girls will train until the start of competition.

The varsity team’s first game starts at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Yucca Valley High School gym against West Shores High School from Salton City. The Trojans start Desert Valley League play Sept. 3 at Coachella Valley High School in Thermal.

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