New SA volleyball coach has high expectations

Published 9:18 am Friday, August 12, 2011

The 2011 Southampton Academy team members are, from left in front, Chelsea Speight, Kelsey Whitehead, Beth Waller and Brigitte Bradshaw; and in back, Morgan Pope, Whitley Smith, Brooke Whitley, Katelyn Newsome Coach Sarah Nixon. -- SUBMITTED

COURTLAND—Southampton Academy’s new volleyball coach brings a coaching pedigree and high expectations into the upcoming season.

Southampton Academy alumna Sarah Nixon, the daughter of varsity baseball coach Tim Nixon, is taking over the program that will have a good balance of youth and experience this season.

“I’ve always loved this school, and I knew I wanted to coach and teach here,” said the recent James Madison University graduate.

While not a full-time teacher, Nixon does plan on substituting from time to time.

This year’s volleyball squad includes four seniors, a junior and four sophomores, and the team’s expectations are to bring home a Virginia Commonwealth Conference title.

“There’s no need to come here without intentions of winning the conference,” Nixon said.

The team has a good mix of leadership in the seniors and height in the sophomores.

Nixon said she expects Beth Waller and Brigitte Bradshaw to be leaders while she is also expecting a lot out of several good young hitters.

A three-sport athlete while at Southampton Academy, Nixon said she is a coach now because of her father, who coached the softball team when she was there.

“He inspired me to be a role model for kids,” Sarah Nixon said.

The Lady Raiders have their first match at Amelia Academy on Tuesday, Aug. 30. They play their first home match against Brunswick Academy on Tuesday, Sept. 6. Junior varsity plays and 5 p.m. followed by the varsity team at 6.