The men’s volleyball team’s sideline is looking a little different these days.
Former assistant coach Lexa Magnuson has stepped in as the acting head coach of the team with head coach, Jim Daugherty, on leave, as stated in an email from Gilberto Pérez, vice president of student life and dean of students.
Magnuson came into the season as a first year assistant coach for the men’s volleyball team, but she is not new to Goshen College. Magnuson played volleyball at GC from 2013-16 and served as an assistant coach on the women’s volleyball team for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. She also does not think the transition has been tough due to the players on the team.
“Although the position feels as though it should be an awkward transition,” Magnuson said, “altogether, the program is full of quality character student-athletes, and they’ve established their own traditions and their own expectations and their own goals. So, ultimately, transitioning into this role as acting head coach has felt fairly seamless with the amount of support and the routines and habits that they’ve already established for themselves.”
Another reason this transition has gone so well is because of recruiting, according to Magnuson.
“We start off by recruiting guys that we think are going to be a good fit to the school, said Magnuson. “When they’re here on campus, and this is true for my philosophy, this was true for [Daugherty], we want to become better students, better quality character student-athletes all together … winning both in the classroom and outside of the classroom and preparing ourselves kind of for just 21st century society.”
With Magnuson running the show, she does not expect to see a much different team for the rest of the season.
“I would say we’ve focused quite a bit on this being a new chapter in the same novel,” Magnuson said. “We have the same goals that are driving our expectations … our actions [and] … our habits. We have a saying that we’ve been working on: actions create habits, habits create culture. So we haven’t made drastic changes to lineups. We haven’t made any changes to our goals. Our expectations haven’t changed, and so our performance shouldn’t change either.”
So far, the team’s performance has been strong, but there are a few games that are important to meeting those goals for the season.
“So right now, our focus has to be on Siena Heights [University] and Lourdes [University], and then we have Mount Vernon [Nazarene University] next Tuesday,” Magnuson said. “So we’re going to take each [match] game by game to put ourselves in the best possible position for conference. When we get to the conference tournament, obviously, we want to win that outright.”
The men’s volleyball team is back in action tonight as they travel to take on Siena Heights University starting at 7 pm. They return to Gunden Gymnasium on Saturday to honor the four graduating seniors prior to their match against Lourdes University at 3 pm.