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Something to Prove: Lady Rattlers begin new era under Ollett

The Lady Rattlers had to reset twice in 2022.

After former head coach Jared Teo, now an assistant at St. Edward’s University, announced his departure from San Marcos on Dec. 7 of last year, the purple and whites needed just over a month to name a new coach. . San Marcos CISD announced Jan. 13 that former assistant coach Glenn Kennedy would take over the reins of the program — but then Kennedy received an offer in May to be the head coach at his alma mater, Cleveland Tarkington, which he couldn’t pass up. refuse.

That left the Lady Rattlers with a gap heading into the summer, but luckily for San Marcos, head boys basketball coach Dan Miller found a connection while in Houston coaching a basketball camp.

Megan Ollett, a former Katy Seven Lakes assistant and Katy Mayde Creek and Fort Bend Austin head coach, ran into Miller during his time in Houston and ended up chatting about the Lady Rattlers’ opener — eventually leading to Ollett’s visit to campus with athletic director John Walsh and accepting the job.

“Coming here, I was excited to be able to develop a program in a community that supports it, as opposed to (being in) a multi-faceted high school district,” Ollet said. “I’m very excited to have a feeder in all of this and to nurture and excite these kids who are going to be San Marcos Rattlers from a very young age. I think it’s just different. It creates its own alignment when multi-teamed, but I grew up in a community like this and you just get excited (more).

“(And with) the kids I think there’s a lot more school spirit built in as opposed to where you fall in with your peers that are around, where here everyone goes to the same place. So everyone is working for the same thing. So it’s quicker for everyone to get on the same page, as opposed to comparing yourself to where your friends are going and (what) they’re doing.”

While the purple and white may have a fast track to getting the team on the same page because of the district’s unique construction, Ollett and the Lady Rattlers agree there is still a lot of work to be done. Not only has San Marcos had to go through two different coaching changes in one calendar year, but it also has to replace two NCAA Division I outfielders in Maggie Walsh, who is headed to Texas State, and Joselyn Roberson, who is playing for Tarleton State.

It’s almost pure for the purple and white, but that’s something that’s attractive to the team’s players.

“(The transition to coach Olette) has been really good,” Ruby Gordon said. “He (has) really positive vibes, he’s fun to be around, but also when it’s time to work, it’s time to work. You must (have to) know the difference (between) when we’re joking and when it’s time to be serious —”

“(Coach Olette) puts a lot of pressure on us. For a while, we didn’t have a very strict, organized, hard volleyball program, so I think that’s good because we have to build our program (and it’s very important to push us to do that)” sophomore, away, Brinkley Reeves. added. “It’s good for a fresh start, we have a new coach (and) a new district. It’s just a good clean slate for everybody.”

While San Marcos lost seven seniors, the Lady Rattlers saw new faces step up to compete for the lineup voids left by departures from the program. The Purple and White are also trying to build new leaders on the team who can help guide the young roster.

“I think (for us it’s about) the underclassman being able to trust us,” Gordon said. “(We try to make them) see us as friends instead of people to be afraid of. (We don’t want it to be) like, “Oh, we don’t want to mess up because the seniors (see),” (we want the student to feel) more like we’re all a family, we all love each other and these are my best friends —»

“We don’t have two D1 commitments on our pins (anymore),” Reeves added. “It takes a lot to replace it. There really aren’t any set seats right now, especially in the front row. Everyone is playing and hitting at every spot and it’s just going to take a lot of effort from everyone to step up and cover that spot.”

The Lady Rattlers will also play in San Marcos’ new district this year, District 27-6A which moves the purple and white to the southbound I-35 corridor heading towards San Antonio. It renews San Marcos’ area rivalry with New Braunfels and also renews matchups with Converse Judson, Cibolo Steele, Schertz Clemens and San Antonio East Central from the Lady Rattlers’ previous alignment from 2018-20.

“We played this district our freshman year,” senior libero Callissa Castro said. “It’s a very small area, there are six teams with us (so that makes every game more important) —”

“I think we’re going to go far, I think we’ve got a chance,” Gordon added. “We just have to push ourselves and come together as a team to be able to really go forward because I think we have a lot of potential when everything starts to come together.”

The Purple and White have a lot to replace, but there is one key factor they bring back with their returning players – playoff experience. It’s something the team wants to get back to again to right the wrongs of the first-round loss, but it’s also to prove something to themselves and their challengers.

They want to prove they can win as a team, even without their graduated stars.

“I also think (getting back to the playoffs) is about proving something to people,” Gordon said. “Because we had two D1 athletes leave, and now (people) are like ‘oh, there’s no Maggie, no (Joselyn), like you’re all (over), the volleyball program is over, but I think for us it’s like we’re something more than two players”.

Coach Megan Olette has only been with her team the past few weeks, but the Lady Rattlers had their first scrimmage at Cedar Ridge on Aug. 5 and will open their season at home against Lockhart on Aug. 8 at 12:30 p.m. . The Crimson and White have had many ups and downs during their off season, but they can finally start writing the next chapter of San Marcos Volleyball.

The first step in this process? Building a culture in the program can be relied upon.

“(The culture) is still a work in progress and in my opinion I think it’s always a work in progress because it’s what comes into the gym,” Ollett said. “But my goal is to build (a culture) of wanting them to be resilient, work hard (and) have fun. Just (to) be known as a team that’s always something to be reckoned with, (and that) they just have good character and they’re going to do it the best way they know how and they’re going to do it the right way.

“(We also) just (want to) continue to develop an organization that everybody’s watching and it’s like, I want to hang out with them. I want to be part of them. I want to go with them.”

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Something to Prove: Lady Rattlers begin new era under Ollett Source link Something to Prove: Lady Rattlers begin new era under Ollett

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