In her first year as head coach of the Mountlake Terrace Hawks’ volleyball program, Krissy Cain is determined to stay humble, keeping her new role in perspective.
“In my opinion, it’s the girls’ program; it’s what they want,” Cain said.
And while intent on not imposing her own particular goals on her varsity team, Cain would certainly entertain seeing a competitive spirit in the squad.
“If they want to go balls out and win all the games, then I am down for that,” she said with a smile.
Cain and the Hawks take to the court for the first time this season on Thursday, Sept. 6, when they travel to Marysville-Getchell for a 7 p.m. contest with the Chargers. The game will be rematch of the 2017 regular season finale, a battle won by Terrace in five sets.
In 2018, Terrace will be looking to earn their third straight trip to postseason tournament play after a disastrous 2015 season that saw the team go 0-14.
Cain takes over the reins of Hawks volleyball after former Coach Rene Noeun resigned due to the demands of a new job. “Rene got a new job and it was just interfering too much,” Cain explained. “She realized she couldn’t commit one hundred percent to volleyball. So she had to make that hard step.”
While this is Cain’s first time as a head coach, she has served as an assistant for 10 years, the past two at Mountlake Terrace. She led the ‘C’ two years ago and then moved up to the junior varsity squad last season.
Before coming to Terrace in 2016, Cain was an assistant coach at Southridge High School in Beaverton, Oregon. It was there, through the mentoring of Southridge coaches, that she believes has now prepared her for the new post with the Hawks.
“I’ve learned from, in my opinion, some of the best that there are,” Cain said. “My coaching style comes from all of them.”
The Southridge Skyhawks have become a top volleyball program in the state of Oregon after winning the 6A state championship in 2017.
While preparing her Hawk squad for the rigorous demands of playing Wesco League volleyball, Cain plans on keeping the sport in perspective with the rest of their lives.
“For me, as a high school coach, I want the girls to be high schoolers,” she stated. “You’re a student athlete… you are here to have the whole student athlete experience. If you don’t have good grades, you’re not going to be on my court.”
With that said, Cain also insisted that nothing but maximum effort will be expected from her players when they do step out on the court.
“Everybody wants to win, but my goal always, every season, is to get them to leave each game or practice knowing that they left everything out on the court – that there’s nothing else they could have done to make their practice experience better or the game better,” Cain said.
The 2018 Hawks will be without five key graduates from last year’s team that qualified for the District 1/2 2A Volleyball Tournament, including their no.1 setter from last season Sophie Parsons. But Cain feels she has the athletes in junior Kristina Pearce and senior Karly Rismoen to take over the vital role.
“I feel like Kristina and Karly can definitely step up to the challenge,” Cain said. “These girls do get along really really well so communication, I’m hoping, will be really easy for them.”
“That’s what crushes a lot of teams – that they don’t communicate enough (with) people running into each other or not going for the ball,” she continued. “But they’re all very vocal and positive, which will be good.”
Defense may be the strongest aspect of this year’s Terrace team, with senior Kaylee Hynek, junior Isabel Ong and sophomore Kaitlyn Scott heading up that group.
“We have three or four liberos, so I feel like defense will definitely (be there),” Cain said.
The front line of the Hawks will see senior Mckenzie Davis, junior Kierra Scott, junior Jamie Bingaman and sophomore Kiana Hinckley standing up against the big hitters of opposing teams.
Cain is looking forward to seeing how her 2018 Hawks perform. “They will definitely work their tails off everyday, and even if we are losing they won’t go down without a fight,” she stated. “I just feel like they have a lot of heart and desire and love for the game that will keep them going no matter what.”
“I’m really excited,” Cain said. “They’re a good group of girls that get along really well.”
Mountlake Terrace Hawks 2018 Volleyball
Coach: Krissy Cain (first year)
2017 record: 4-8 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 5-10 overall; 0-1 in District 1/2 2A Volleyball Tournament
First 2018 match: versus Marysville-Getchell, Thursday, Sept. 6, 7 p.m. at Marysville-Getchell High School
Key players: Mckenzie Davis (senior outside hitter), Karly Rismoen (senior setter), Kaylee Hynek (senior libero), Kristina Pearce (junior setter, outside hitter), Kierra Scott (senior outside hitter), Isabel Ong (junior libero)
2018 schedule: click http://www.wescoathletics.com/index.php?eptab=roster&pid=0.3.40.10.320&rid=11571#ep_tab_content_roster
–Story and photo by Doug Petrowski