Riverland gets a new volleyball coach

Published 3:42 pm Friday, August 5, 2011

Sara Heim is taking over as the head volleyball coach at Riverland. -- Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

The Riverland Community College volleyball head coach has some catching up to do.

But she’s not sweating it.

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Sara Heim, who comes to the Blue Devils after graduating from Ripon College in Wisconsin in 2010 and assisting at Rochester Community and Technical College last season, doesn’t know any of her players yet or have any incoming recruits, but she’s ready to get started.

“I’m very excited. It’s been my goal as long as I can remember to be a college coach,” Heim said. “I’m fairly young, which a lot of people look at as being a kind of weakness, but I have a lot of energy and I like challenges. I’ll be able to relate to (my players) and know where they’re coming from. Also by role modeling and being there for them, I will help build a trust with them.”

Heim played libero at Ripon, where she was the all-time digs leader in school history. She played high school volleyball at Wabasha/Kellogg, which won a Class ‘A’ state title this past fall.

At RCTC, Heim was the co-defensive and conditioning coach for a program that is usually very successful.

“Having great coaches and competing at a high level as an athlete, I hope I can put those together and be the best coach I can be to really help the girls succeed,” Heim said.

Heim is also very familiar with RCTC’s head coach Carolyn Bell, who has a five-year record of 79-17. Besides coaching with her, Heim played for Bell in a summer league when she was in high school.

Now she’ll be on the opposite bench when RCC takes on the Yellowjackets and she’s hoping to have a solid debut season.

“I’m looking forward continuing the success here at Riverland,” Heim said. “Communication is key and people need to be on the same page. We’ll have strong, intense practices so we can stay at our peak level and we need to set the bar that we’re not settling for anything.”

Before the season starts, Heim is also looking to add a few athletes to her squad. Any potential volleyball players at Riverland are encouraged to contact Heim at by e-mail at sarah.heim@riverland.edu.

The Blue Devils open their season Aug. 26 at Dakota County and they start practice Aug. 15. Their home opener is Sept. 3 against Ridgewater at 1 p.m.