This will be Nadine Varsovia’s fourth year as head coach for Friday Harbor volleyball, with two additional years as Junior Varsity coach.
She grew up playing competitive volleyball in Southern California starting at the age of 12. “I have a passion for the sport and want to share that with the youth in Friday Harbor and serve as a role model for the students in my program,” Varsovia said, adding that this year they had the rare opportunity to bring up 8th graders to play on the JV team. “Their excitement and determination to play the game at this young age helps to keep my fire burning.”
Varsovia comes from a volleyball family. She said during her younger years she was kind of “forced” into it because her mom and older sister played. Varsovia was the tallest of the three, she said, meaning it was inevitable she would end up playing too.” I ended up loving the sport and was lucky enough to play it year-round!” said Varsovia.
This year her goals for the team are to keep consistent in their playing ability during both practices and games. “Volleyball is a very technical sport and takes a lot of mental energy and focus to play. Making sure that we can continue to follow through with the technique we learn at practice and translate it to a live game scenario is going to be a major priority for us,” Varsovia said.
Senior Mia Blackmon, with the help of her older brother and assistant coach Willie Blackmon, has put in countless hours to increase her skill level. “She has worked so hard to get where she is today. I know that when she steps onto the court I don’t need to worry about a ball dropping.,” Varsovia responded when asked about the team’s players. Sophomore Jasper Markins has also shown extreme promise, Varsovia added, “last year she joined the JV team late but came in with some volleyball experience. She made a point to attend all of our summer practices and her hard work is paying off as she is quickly becoming one of my top players.”
According to Varsovia, Markins spent last year working on strength and she always enters every practice with a beginner mentality. Junior Kai Whalen has been fine-tuning her blocking skills over the past few weeks. She is on her way to becoming an unstoppable middle blocker!” Varsovia said.
When asked who’s the team to beat, Varsovia replied, “as is age-old island tradition… I feel that our rival team is Orcas. Whether or not we want it to be, games against Orcas either home or away are where we get the most turnout.”
The girls on both teams are fueled by the rivalry and we always get great support from the stands, she added.
While FHHS volleyball is in its rebuilding stage, Varsovia encouraged the community to come watch the games. “We would like to extend the invite to any prospective players to join us next season in 2023!”