By Gabrielle Mercer
They say things come in threes, so when Molly West entered the 2016 volleyball season looking for a third straight state title, she was hoping this phrase would ring true.
West has been coaching volleyball at Desert Vista High School since 1995, consistently pushing the program to new heights thanks to her coaching experience, which took her from Alabama all the way to Australia.
“There’s no doubt that I have evolved over the years (as a coach),” West told Sports360AZ.com in a recent interview. “There is only so much you can control and each player learns a little differently which is the challenge in coaching… finding ways to connect dots for kids.”
West hopes to bring the team to yet another Division 1 state championship this fall. After a quick 9-2 start the Thunder have stumbling losing seven-straight heading into their match Wednesday night at Gilbert.
“This year our motto is and has always been to put ourselves in a position to win each match, get power points and get the best seed possible in state,” West said. “We know that anything can happen in state and we want to be playing our best ball in November.”
On paper, it’s clear the team is a force to be reckoned with, six of their 12 total players are seniors and just as many standing at 6-foot or taller but inconsistency has hindered DV’s progress through the first half of the season.
West said she knows it will be difficult to get a third straight state championship, as that has only been achieved scarcely in school history.
“We of course have (winning state) as the ultimate goal every year but we do have a lot of work to do to continue learning how to win with the challenges we face,” West said. “We are a good team but we have unique challenges and right now our goal is to continue getting better and tougher to get to playoffs.”