The Mountlake Terrace High School Athletic Department didn’t have to look too far to find their new girls volleyball coach; they simply tapped one of their own for the job.
Rene Noeun, a 2007 graduate and assistant coach for the past five years, was named this week as the new head coach of the volleyball program at the school. Noeun takes over for former coach Marietta Snyder, who stepped down after 11 years as head coach of the Hawks.
“I have a lot planned for this program and can’t wait to start building it,” Noeun said.
Noeun takes over a varsity team that won a Wesco 3A title in 2013, but could only muster three wins last season.
Throughout all four years of her time as a student at Mountlake Terrace, Noeun played both volleyball and tennis. Not long after graduation she started coaching volleyball at Providence Classical Christian School, a 1B private school in Kirkland. “After a few seasons with them I really wanted the opportunity to coach at my high school alma mater,” Noeun admitted. “I learned a lot in my four years in the program and I felt like I had some things to offer to the future players.”
“It was nostalgic walking into the Terrace gym and I told myself, ‘why not have this feeling every day?” Noeun said.
Noeun got that chance to return to Mountlake Terrace and over the past five seasons she has coached the JV volleyball team in addition to being beside former coach Snyder on the varsity bench. Noeun has also keep involved with the game first hand, playing in various recreational leagues and tournaments throughout the area.
“As an active volleyball player indoor, (on) sand and (on) grass, you see the game changing in different ways with new technology, ways to get fit, and strategies for different programs,” Noeun said. “I think I can provide different kinds of insight to the program.”
“I learned a great deal under the leadership of Marietta Snyder, but I believe my understanding of the game that is being played now — due to the fact of being involved in an active volleyball community — can help these players grow,” she added.
Still young herself, Noeun believes she has a special opportunity to serve as a mentor to girls in the Mountlake Terrace volleyball program and to teach the upperclassmen playing volleyball at the school to do the same. “I had a lot of older players to look up to during my time (in high school),” Noeun said, “and I want the same for the younger players now because it truly makes a difference on and off the court.”
“I really want to give back to a program that I loved and learned a lot from.”
While volleyball continues to be a passion in her life, Noeun also has an artistic side she loves to explore. “Music has always been a big part of my life since I was young,” she said. “When there are times when words couldn’t express what I was feeling, music was able to explain that in ways I couldn’t.”
While her full-time job is in technology, Noeun spends some of her free time posting videos of her music on the Internet. “It has only been a few years since I have actually started pursing music because I wanted to keep it a hobby and not a lifestyle,” she said.
“I am a firm believer that happiness is just an emotion and not a destination, because you can’t get to being ‘happy’ in life — (but) having a happy and positive (attitude) is always within your control,” Noeun said. “Music makes me happy, it makes my friends happy with the videos I post or to invite them to a gig.”
“I may not be a superstar, but I’ve built up enough courage to pursue a hobby I love. There is just something about the sound of a grand piano that fills the room, the softness of an acoustic guitar and the voices and harmonies that soothes the soul. You just can’t beat it,” she said.
Fans of Mountlake Terrace volleyball hope that Noeun can help fill the gym with the sound of a successful program starting this fall. The 14-game 2015 Hawk volleyball season begins Sept. 9 with a home match against the Skyline Spartans, a 4A state tournament qualifier from last season.
– By Doug Petrowski