DUDLEY – Knowledge, maturity and determination.
Hannah Sladick undoubtedly fits that bill.
An all-conference performer on the high school and collegiate levels, Sladick was introduced as the new varsity volleyball coach at Southern Wayne High School on June 13. She succeeds Jamie Williams, who guided the program for six seasons and will continue to coach varsity softball.
“I knew when I eventually started teaching that I also wanted to be a high school coach,” said Sladick, who has worked with two elite volleyball clubs. “I saw this open position and I knew it was perfect. I’m familiar with the kids around here because I teach [first grade] at Brogden Primary.
“I look forward to getting to work with these players and continue to grow the program. I’m extremely excited and I can’t wait to get started.”
Sladick is projected to inherit eight returning letter-winners, including seven underclassmen led by setter Taylor Lee and outside hitter Gracie Hinson.
The Saints finished 4-15 a year ago and filed a 3-11 worksheet in the newly-aligned Quad County 3A Conference.
With summer workouts approaching, Sladick intends to discuss her rules and expectations, which mirror her high school and collegiate coaches. She wants players who will give 100%, be on time to practice and understand the importance of academics.
“When we start, we’re definitely going hard because I’m competitive and I don’t like to lose,” Sladick said. “I want to start with building relationships, learn ways that I can help them grow and become better players. I really want to nail down passing, serve receiving [and] I want to be the team that’s scrappy.
“When another team looks at us, they’ll say they’re scrappy because they never let a ball hit the ground.”
Sladick is the Saints’ eighth head coach in the past two decades.
Southern Wayne last reached the postseason in 2013.