By BURT ANGELI
NORWAY - Nicole Anderson expects Norway High School volleyball to continue to thrive.
Unfortunately, Anderson had to end a six-year coaching stint with the program. She submitted her resignation, with Kayla DeBakker named the new head coach.
"I am sorry that I will not be back," Anderson said. "We (Norway-Vulcan Area Schools) were unable to come up with an arrangement for away-game travel."
Anderson, a Niagara Public Schools teacher, had "really grown attached to my girls and wish them all the best in this upcoming season."
"All of my players, past and present, have worked so hard," Anderson said. "We (coaches and players) were able to bring positive changes to the Norway volleyball program due to the girls commitment to the systems, techniques and skills that my coaching staff brought to our program."
Anderson expressed appreciation to Norway-Vulcan Area Schools, parents and athletes who provided her with many great coaching opportunities, experiences and memories.
"Some of the greatest memories I take away with me are the smiles on the girls' faces after a victory, the fun times and the not so fun times we had together as a team, our team dinners, the girls vocalizing their love for the sport and, of course, our victory over Iron Mountain last season," Anderson said. "Knowing this year's group of girls as well as I do, I know that they will continue right where I left off."
DeBakker, a setter and right-side hitter, played under Anderson for two seasons. She has volunteered time in the past to coach Norway's middle school program.
"Kayla is familiar with systems, techniques and skills that I have taught throughout my years at Norway," Anderson said. "I believe she will be able to bring fresh ideas to the program and continue to build the program in a positive direction.
"I wish Kayla and her team all the best and I look forward to see them play this season."
Rita Huglen was named junior varsity volleyball coach.