NCU first-year volleyball coach sets priorities

North Central's Women's Volleyball team goes another round against Martin Luther's Volleyball team. Photo by Ericka Sura.

North Central’s Women’s Volleyball team goes another round against Martin Luther’s Volleyball team. Photo by Ericka Sura.

North Central’s volleyball team is trying to build momentum under first-year coach Faith Vander Galien. A new coach brings new philosophies, new focus, and a new vibe.

The Rams’ have struggled to a 1-15 record this season. Their only win came on Sept. 16 against Faith Baptist Bible College, 3-1. Coach Vander Galien says she has other priorities for her team.

“It was amazing to get the first win”, Vander Galien said, “but that is not my priority. I find a win when we go out and we play the best volleyball we can play.”

“She brings a new intensity to the court this year,” senior team captain Ashley Kelzer said. “She’s very strategic and widens our awareness of what we are up against. She is confident in us and shows us our potential; and furthermore, pushes us to that potential.”

Vander Galien graduated from the University of Northwestern in 2015, where she was a four-year volleyball standout. Her teams won four consecutive Upper Midwest Athletic Conference championships and advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament each time. The team capped off Vander Galien’s final season with a Sweet 16 appearance.

Vander Galien was in Spain on a missions trip when North Central posted the open head coaching position. Vander Galien found out about the position when her former head coach, Beth Wilmeth, texted her.

Following the conversation with Wilmeth, Vander Galien submitted her application for the open position. Soon after, she was scheduled for a phone interview and then an on-campus interview. She was hired one week later.

“I was so excited because I knew it was the perfect job for me,” Vander Galien said. “It aligned my passion for Christ and my passion for volleyball. I get to come to work every day and do what I love.”

Though the Rams have gotten off to a slow start this season, Coach Vander Galien says her priorities are much bigger than wins and losses.

“If we as a team have impacted others and shown Christ to every single team, that is what I want to get out of the season,” Vander Galien said.

About the author: Ross Anderson

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