Hampton University Women's Volleyball Coach, Karen Weatherington led her 2014 team to a mark of 21-11. The team won their second consecutive MEAC Championship this season. The Lady Pirates ended this season in an NCAA match against North Carolina earlier this month. The Student Connection caught up with Weatherington to get her thoughts on the team's success, as well as the impact of losing Senior Rightside Vendula Strakova, the two-time reigning MEAC Player of the Year.
How long have you been at HU?
I have been at Hampton for 18 months.
Where were you professionally before coming to HU?
Prior to Hampton, I was the head coach at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
How would you describe your coaching style?
I describe my style as a coach who is disciplined, demanding and passionate.
What things would you contribute to the team's
I would say the student-athletes' work ethic is the primary factor for our success. They are a hard working group that wants to be great at everything they do.
How do you prepare your team mentally and physically for the
We have physical standards that we expect the team to be able to reach during the season. They must be able to meet certain goals to be able to play, such as a 12 minute mile and a half, etc. Mentally, we work to focus our thoughts on achievement through challenge. The drills and skills we work on are tough, so we try to meet a certain number of repetitions each day to make us better. That takes teamwork. We also have reading programs in the offseason to help us with team concepts.
What was your overall record and MEAC record last
Last season we were 19-11 and 10-2 in the MEAC.
What was your overall record and MEAC record this
In 2014 we achieved our first ever 20-win season at 21-11 and 11-1 in the MEAC.
How do you plan to rebuild and restructure (if necessary)
after losing seniors, particularly Vendula?
We currently have several great players signed to attend Hampton in 2015. They will add to the talented, young group that is already here. It will be hard to replace a player like Vendy and the seniors we are graduating. In fact, we have graduated 10 players in the last two-years and the junior and senior class is small but mighty. The recent grads have left a legacy that helps us recruit and bring a variety of talent to Hampton.