Falcon Volleyball enters a new era this fall. Andrea Roelen, an assistant for the past two seasons at Woodinville, has been appointed to lead the Lady Falcons.
The 43-year old was once a two-time All-American and National Champion in her years at the University of Puget Sound. She was also a Deans’ List student and Trustee Scholar. In subsequent years, she’s had multiple coaching stops, including the past two as an assistant at Woodinville under coach Mike Mills.
The Falcons struggled under Mills, losing 20 of 21 KingCo conference matches over the past three seasons.
“I’ve had a great time getting to know the Woodinville program and it was pleasure coaching under Coach Mills,” Roelen said.
At the time of this writing, tryouts were underway. There’s no doubt that Roelen’s high-energy and enthusiasm are setting a certain tone.
“My vision is to build an entire program with the girls on [varsity, JV and C Team], and to have the parents and administration rallying around us, and getting the community involved,” Roelen said. “I believe in forming great relationships. I want to teach these girls to be not just great volleyball players, but also teach them great character and things outside the court that will help them for their entire life.”
Last year’s squad had eight seniors, but could only fashion a 1-6 conference record and 5-10 overall. Roelen was asked her assessment.
“While I wouldn’t pinpoint it to one thing, for this year I’m going to focus on sound fundamentals and confidence building,” she said. “We need to [feel free] to make mistakes in practice and we need to put the girls in game-like situations. I want them to surprise themselves this year. I want them to see that no matter what circumstance they find themselves in this year, they can persevere and come out on top.”
Often times last season, the Lady Falcons would get off to a good start. But then adversity would strike and they’d fall behind, and things would unravel.
“We struggled to have confidence in ourselves in hard situations,” she said. “I have worked with these girls and they are a wonderful group of ladies. The nicest and smartest ladies. But we dug ourselves into some holes and I would love to see this year’s team go `Oh yeah! We can do this!’”
Roelen went on to share a lesson she learned in her playing days at Puget Sound.
“One of the best things my college coach taught me had to do with emotion,” she said. “Early in my career I was very emotional. When things were going great I was super high emotionally and happy. Everything was fabulous! And when I wasn’t passing as well or hitting as well, everybody [around me] knew it. My coach said that emotionally I needed to be a straight line. You’ve got to be emotionally stable. That was an important lesson to learn. I want to give that as a lesson to these girls. It doesn’t matter what the score is or who you’re playing, I believe anybody can beat anybody else on a given night.”