LEMONT – Hired in mid-February to lead the Lemont boys volleyball team this spring, Dina Kyriakoulis would ultimately like to see the program take off in the near future.
But she is well aware that reaching that point will take plenty of building steps.
“I’m excited,” said Kyriakoulis, who has been the sophomore coach in the girl’s program the past three years. “This is my first year as head coach, I’ve always been the assistant. I’m excited to build the program up and make it strong.
“I want the boys to be confident and grow as athletes and also build their skill and knowledge of the game.”
Kyriakoulis takes over for Zach Splitt, who departed for Oswego East High School. She inherits a team that lost six seniors to graduation.
“We lost a lot of seniors from last year and quite a few starters,” said Kyriakoulis, who played at Aurora University and also has coached in the boys program at Reavis and at the club level, “so we will be starting over again. But it’s a hard working group.
“My expectation [this year] is to make them aware of the game and have them respect the game and teach them the fundamentals of the game. I have a bunch of athletes and I’m thankful for that; now they have to be aware on how to play this game.”
So far, the new head coach has been impressed with the attitude of her team.
“They are wanting to learn,” she said. “They are aggressive and they hate messing up. They have a great mentality and a willingness to get better.”
Kyriakoulis said there is one big difference between coaching the girls and the boys.
“With boys volleyball, it is all about offense,” the coach said. “In girls volleyball, it’s defense. With the boys, everyone wants to hit, but I tell them that you can’t hit unless you pass the ball. We have to learn a little more about ball control, and we are trying to be more consistent with that.”
Lemont, which opens the season Monday with a home match against Hinsdale South, is co-hosting a tournament with Downers Grove South on April 25 and 26. The Indians also will take part in the Joliet West Invite on March 28 and 29 and the Eisenhower Invite on April 19.