New volleyball coach brings experience, passion into job

As the season begins for the Cosumnes River College women’s volleyball team, they welcomed new head coach Kari Post onto their court.

Post grew up around the game. She was raised in a family of coaches and was also a local star volleyball player at Sutter Union High School. There she helped her school win four consecutive league titles and three section championships.

She received several full-ride volleyball scholarships to a variety of schools, but ultimately chose West Virginia University, the school she said “was the best fit” for her.

Post’s love for and history with volleyball can all be traced back to her family, ever since she was young. “When I was two years old,” Post said, “there’s a picture of me with my mom’s volleyball team, playing with them, and I’m holding the ball.”

After she graduated and played several years professionally, Post spent four years as a men’s and women’s volleyball coach at Pasadena Community College.

She worked her way up the ranks until she became the head coach last season. She has now returned to Northern California for a job that brings her closer to her family while making her part of a new family.

Even though she is just a few months into her new position, Post already feels welcomed by the CRC community and fellow coaches.

“As soon as I came here, I knew that there was a family atmosphere that I loved,” Post said. “I loved coming to work already, and I love the people that I work with because we all do act like a family.”

“I don’t feel like a newcomer here; I feel like everyone is here to help you whether you’ve been here the longest or you’re the newest,” she said.

Post has already started to work closely with her team, with a focus on creating a new atmosphere that has already shown success.

Erica Valencia, a freshman defensive specialist specialist, said that she already feels good about the future of the team.

“I feel like I’ve already made a lot of progress since we’ve first started because of her,”Valencia said. “The girls have already gone 4-2, and that’s a huge difference from past years.”

Lauren Smith, a sophomore and setter for the Hawks, was previously coached by Cassie Baxter, last season’s coach, and provided some insight into how things had changed with Post as the new head coach.

“The dynamic of our team has gotten a lot more positive,” Smith said. “Her coaching style is very in your face, but she keeps it upbeat. She knows how to explain things a lot of different ways so that everyone can understand it.”

Smith’s comments echo Post’s philosophy as a coach – a transparent, trusting approach.

“I like being able to be very transparent with my athletes. I tell them what’s happening and why it’s happening,” Post said. “I don’t keep anything from them and I think that’s very important because it builds trust.”

Post has incorporated different exercises and workouts that the team has already seen the benefits of. “She has these particular workouts that really benefit us,” said sophomore setter Leilani Lovan. “As you can see, this really helps strengthen our legs.”

The team remains upbeat and has fun, even during workouts at practice.  For example, the team repeatedly sang “Row Row Row Your Boat” loudly across the gymnasium while Post instructed them to switch legs about every five seconds.

From the start, the team has showed a lot of support for each other and are dedicated to making their teammates better.

“The girls here are definitely 100 percent for each other,” Post said. “They want to make each other better instead of just making themselves better. It’s a family team.”

CRC’s women’s volleyball team has completed eight games this season, and they are excited for the rest of the games ahead.