Lady Saints welcome new assistant coach

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The Saints 2011-2012 volleyball team not only will count on the support of new freshmen players but also the addition of a new assistant volleyball coach, Michelle Hayes. Hayes has already started training and coaching the girls and will continue with the Lady Saints the upcoming 2012-2013 volleyball season. Born Sept. 5, 1987, in Pickens, S. C., Hayes spent her high school years participating in sports, including shot put in track, basketball and volleyball. “I’ve always loved sports. That’s always been my passion, and, although I do like basketball, I was better at volleyball,” Hayes said. Following high school, Hayes attended Southern Wesleyan University where she majored in recreation and leisure services, not leaving behind her involvement in volleyball. Hayes then coached as the assistant coach at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo., for two years. Hearing about the volleyball program at SCCC/ATS, Hayes moved to Liberal. Hayes said, “The people (at SCCC) are really nice. They help you out whenever you need anything. The volleyball team really loves the sport and it’s really great to see their passion for the game, and they’re just a really great group of girls.” After the volleyball season is over, Hayes plans to continue recruiting by traveling to club volleyball tournaments and encouraging players to come to Seward. So far, her biggest goal for this year is to go to nationals and prepare well for next year. “I expect us honestly to be the first in our conference and hopefully win region. We really want a shot to go to nationals, and I know it’d be a great experience for the girls. We need to recruit so that we can get the best players in case we get to nationals, we can compete and have a chance at winning” Hayes said. One of the main lessons that Hayes wants to get through to the women is for them to take advantage of this time in their lives in which they can play in a competitive sport, because they won’t always have that chance. “I try to tell them to give it all they have and to just not second guess everything but to play like it’s their last,” Hayes said. When Hayes is not coaching the Saints, she is playing on the city co-ed volleyball team. Hayes also loves to watch several sports, her favorite teams being the Atlanta Braves, the Boston Red Sox, and the Colts. The volleyball players also are enthused to have Hayes as their new assistant volleyball coach. They describe her as the perfect “Southern belle” who has a wicked accent and a positive attitude.