The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 24, at the Neuharth Media Center on the campus of USD. President John Prescott opened the meeting and led us in the invocation and recitation of the Rotary 4-Way Test. The usual round of singing, introduction of guests, and announcements followed this.
Rotarian Hubert introduced Matt Houk and Mandy Green as our guests for the day. Mr. Houk is the women's volleyball head coach and Ms. Green is the women's soccer head coach.
Coach Houk began by saying that the past two years have been a rebuilding period for the program. They face a tough schedule as they proceed through the transition period to Division I play. They have begun to play several major programs including Wisconsin and Marquette as examples. He also stated that he is very excited with the recruiting class this year. He also said the team has set very high goals but that these goals are realistic ones.
He listed a few of the upcoming opponents such as Northern Illinois, Charleston, Oakland University, Chicago State, Kansas, UND and Northern Colorado. He told us that the team is the most prepared team over the last three years.
Coach Green told us that she began her job as head coach in April. She called the current preparation program as an "Extreme Makeover." The overall goal is to become an elite program. The staff have redone everything including upgrading the field, redoing the locker room, new uniforms, but mostly working on changing the mentality of the team, getting the level of fitness up, and increasing the technical ability of team members.
The goal of the staff and team members is to get better at something every day. The staff has been trying several different approaches to accomplish team building. She said that many of the recruits are coming from very good programs in Colorado, Minnesota and South Dakota. They also plan to go to other states in the future for recruitment. The coaching staff is spending a lot of time getting to know the athletes and having the team members getting to know each other.