8/20/2013 6:00:00 AM Kingman Academy volleyball team has many new faces
Bryant Morrison is in his first year of coaching the Kingman Academy of Learning volleyball team.
Matt Hollinshead Miner Staff Reporter
KINGMAN - Bryant Morrison has another lofty challenge in front of him.
Already a familiar face coaching Kingman Academy's boys basketball team, Morrison is entering his first season coaching the KAHS girls volleyball team. He played high school boys volleyball along with a year of club volleyball at Northern Arizona University, and he believes his volleyball background and familiarity with the KAHS student-athletes will help him.
"I still have that connection with the kids. I work well with them," said Morrison, whose 2013 squad will compete in AIA starting this fall. "Our volleyball team this year, we worked all summer four days a week working on lifting, plyometrics and running."
He has additional motives to suggest that Kingman Academy will thrive under his direction.
"My brother, he plays at Grand Canyon University as a volleyball player. He's got tons of experience coaching nationals and all around the U.S.," Morrison said. "He comes up and he helps me. He's kind of like my guidance and shows me different drills, different ways of standing. He sees what's at the college level; he sees what's at the top high schools. If I have a question, I'll call him up. Taking what they have and kind of revamping it, it's kind of a change in everything. From serving to hitting, everything's been kind of swapped."
The transition from CAA to AIA comes after reaching the CAA state championship match the past two seasons under former coach Jason Judd. Morrison now takes the reigns at a time where half of the roster consists of sophomores.
"A lot of the girls I have didn't play much on the varsity team last year," Morrison said. "To go into the AIA, it'll just be getting used to more competitiveness and the girls growing as a team. With the young talent that we do have, and a lot of new players, we're going to have to adapt. I'm not sure how we'll do, but we're definitely going to try our hardest."
Morrison emphasizes fundamentals, from footing to blocking. He's very firm about it. He demands it. At the same time, he makes sure that his players fully process his teachings.
That will soon be tested. Led by players such as junior utility player Kylie Tomlinson, the new era starts with the Mary Jo Goldey Invitational at Lake Havasu High School on Sept. 7 followed by a three-game home stand Sept. 10, 13 and 17.
"The girls I have here are very athletic, and they work very hard," Morrison said. "I have 12 girls consistently, four days a week throughout the summer. By us doing this, year after year after year, we're eventually going to build that foundation. Then we're going to start producing winning teams."