Life-long volleyball player Scott Bilbrey enters his second season as head coach for the Monterey Wildcats in 2019.
Year one had plenty of learning moments for himself and his team, as Blibrey says there’s so much you can learn from a team-sport like volleyball.
“There’s life-long lessons that you’re learning from volleyball,” Bilbrey said. “As far as being a team member, being punctual and being respectful, Those are things we we’re having to teach on the court, not just volleyball skills.”
Replacing only two seniors from last year’s team, Bilbrey is very positive about the talent and numbers he has coming back this season.
“It seems like we have brought more back this time,” Bilbrey said. “More basketball players wanted to play and more athletes that played other sports wanted to play. We actually got to choose this year. (Volleyball) is a growing thing in the school.”
Bilbrey has volleyball ties to freshmen standout Gracie Hastings and her family that go back to the 80’s. Bilbrey and his father played with Hastings’ grandfather in a league in Cookeville. Rising senior Sidney Sparks is bringing valuable experience back to the roster, and Bilbrey praised Sparks’ serving ability, especially her overhanded serve.
“We’ve got several that could have an honorable mention, but those two are two of the strongest players that I think you’ll need to watch for,” Bilbrey said. “We were able to send some of our girls to the Golden Eagle Volleyball Camp this year for the first time and Hastings was one of them.”
Defensively, Bilbrey expects Monterey to be very strong. He and his staff implemented a defensive strategy change mid-season last year, and after the girls caught on, the Wildcats saw improvements in the competitiveness of their games.
“(Multiplicity) on defense is very valuable. Most of the teams play the (defense) we started off with,” Bilbrey said. “I’ve not seen anyone play the way we played that later part of the season. At any point if (teams) pick up on it, we are going to switch right back and have the ability to switch back and forth.”