By: Trey Hunter
The Mustang Lady Broncos volleyball program will be heading a new direction this fall.
New coach and Mustang graduate, Caitlyn Bernhardt, will be taking over the reins this year, replacing former coach, Taryn Steele after spending last year as junior varsity and assistant varsity coach.
“I really wasn’t expecting to be named head coach,” Bernhardt said. “So when I applied and was hired, it was definitely a great surprise. Now I’m just ready to get things started and start working on what we need to get done before the fall season rolls around.”
Bernhardt graduated from Mustang in 2008 and attended St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee where she played one season before suffering an injury. She transferred to the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond and joined Deer Creek High School’s coaching staff, helping with their junior varsity and club teams.
“I’ll be taking a lot from what I learned coaching with Deer Creek and coaching last year with Taryn (Steele),” Bernhardt said. “I know more about the offensive side of the game, so I’ll be working a lot on defense once we get going. We’ll start with the basics and move from there.”
Bernhardt already has chemistry with the players returning in 2014.
“They’ve gone from coach to coach,” she said. “So it’s nice for them that they’ll have a coach that has already been with them. I’m familiar with what we have coming back. We have our libero and setter returning so we will start to build around that. We will work on keeping the ball moving and out-hustling the other team.”
The Lady Broncos went 21-11 last season and fell to Edmond Santa Fe in the regional finals. Bernhardt says she wants to pick up right where that team left off.
“Although it’s a fresh start, we want to continue what we had going last year, she said. “It’s like building a house. There has to be a firm foundation and that’s what we’re looking to start this season. We want teams to be intimidated by us because we are Mustang and we should be a big time program in Class 6A.”
“I’m excited to be a part of this program in a bigger way. Being a graduate and former player, it makes it feels like I’m at home. Hopefully this is the beginning of something special in not only my career, but the program as well.”