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Warriors prepare

Angie Gatling will make her way back to the coaching sidelines as she will look to get the most out of the Warriors volleyball team.

Tuesday officially tips off the volleyball season for the Nansemond River High School team. They will take on Deep Creek High School. Preseason is nearing an end, and Gatling is excited about her Warriors team this year. Gatling didn’t coach last season, but did coach at King’s Fork High School in 2015.

Nansemond River finished the season fifth in the PenSouth Conference last year. The team will be without 2016 All-PenSouth player Matt Waterman and will also be without a key contributor in Nikoli Green. Both players graduated. They do return Bryce Renshaw and Seva Karlov, who are expected to make things happen for the Warriors.

“We have talent all across the floor,” Gatling said. “We are going to have to need a couple of players to step up. But the talent is there.”

Gatling believes she has a strong team. She just wants them to feel the same way about themselves. There is potential for a successful season if the players believe in themselves.

One of the challenges that come with stepping into a new team is getting players acclimated to the coach’s style. Gatling knows it is a challenge learning how to get the best out of each player, but is something she is excited for. Determination is a big reflection of what the team wants to be this year. Gatling wants the team to be determined in all that they do, whether it be earning more time, getting better grades or pushing through a tough moment in a game or in life.

“I love a challenge,” she said. “You’re asking players to do something entirely different and adjust to you, which is not always easy. But I have to know how to adapt to them so I can get through to them the best way I can.”

Coaching is bigger than wins and losses. Every team has a goal to win in some way, shape or form. However, Gatling doesn’t want to leave her goals at just a championship this season. She wants to make sure she is helping her players become responsible young men.

“I want them to become better young men and players,” Gatling said. “I want them to look back on the season and say, ‘We were better than we were at the beginning of it.’”

The Warriors have played well in scrimmages. Gatling is still figuring the best place to fit players for the team to be successful as a whole. On Tuesday, when the Warriors go on the road to face Deep Creek, Gatling is looking forward to her team displaying fundamentally sound teamwork.