American River College’s women’s volleyball team is feeling upbeat and confident after winning their opening two games against Lassen College and Porterville College, both by the score of 3-0.
The Beavers are coming off of a another playoff run after reaching the second round of the NorCal Regionals, ending the season with a 21-9 record.
However, the team will face another challenge, as they are now on their third coach in three years after Carson Lowden was brought in to replace last year’s coach, Gabe Gardner.
Lowden is originally from the Sacramento area, and shared her excitement for the chance to coach in her home town and for ARC.
“I’m originally from the Sacramento area so it’s kind of a homecoming for me,” Lowden said. “I’m also excited to coach at the community college level because I think it’s a special place to be and help transition student athletes to the 4-year level.”
Lowden also said that ARC “has a very rich history and is a well established college academically and has strong ties to the community.”
“I was very excited to choose American River as my new home.”
Some of the players were also excited by the prospect of a new coach, including returning sophomore Katlin Meyer.
“I love her,” Meyer said. “She’s a great coach and knows what she’s doing and relates to the players well.”
Lowden highlighted Meyer, fellow returning sophomore Emily Dzubak and new Humboldt State transfer Madison Hunziker as players to watch in the early stages of the season.
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“As (Meyer and Dzubak) are all conference players they are gonna be strong right at the start,” Lowden said. “Hunziker is an opposite, and she can bring physicality to our offense that should be pretty exciting to watch.”
Kylie Villarreal also held high hopes for the new season and believes they are good enough to win.
“I’m very confident in my team and believe we are good enough to win,” Villarreal said. “Win conference again.”
Brianne Whitt said that she “was pumped” and was excited that everyone “immediately fit right in.”
Lowden brings with her a wealth of experience from serving as assistant coach at Butte College, Division II school Chico State and Division I school UC Berkeley.
She says that the experience she has had will help her make the step to head coaching.
“I think having a wide variety of experience and working with different coaches as well as other assistants has helped me to develop my own style, and I feel confident for my first head coaching opportunity,” Lowden said.
The team’s next game is on Sep. 2 at Fresno City College.