The score is 25-26, it’s the championship game of the Battle Creek Central Volleyball Tournament on September 16th. The Loy Norrix Knights Varsity Volleyball Team has gone undefeated all day and they are now one point away from taking home the gold. The ball is set, hit and bounces off the opponent’s block bringing the Lady Knights to victory. The team storms the court cheering in a huddle, and at the center of that huddle is Coach Victoria Najacht.
The volleyball program at Loy Norrix has seen its share of coaches. Over the past few years, Coach Victoria Najacht will be the third head coach the senior volleyball players have worked with during their time at Loy Norrix.
Najacht, originally from Hartford, Michigan, started playing volleyball in the fourth grade and played as a defensive specialist throughout high school. She then moved to Kalamazoo to attend and play softball for Kalamazoo College. From K College, Najacht became one of the head coaches for the Loy Norrix Softball Team. Najacht learned about the open position for varsity volleyball coach from a parent of one of her softball players, who also plays volleyball.
Najacht always loved her coaches growing up, and said she wanted to become a coach to be a support network and bring guidance to other players, as her coaches did for her.
Najacht wants to bring positivity and a culture that promotes hard work and dedication above anything else. She has also created an environment for her athletes to grow in both volleyball and life by holding study table and weight room sessions between school and practice times. She hopes through these methods she will be able to encourage a positive mentality and increase the confidence the team members have in themselves.
Senior Maddy Guimond is ecstatic with the new improvements Coach Najacht has initiated.
“There’s definitely a lot less punishment, and the drills are less intense, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less effective,” said Guimond.
Najacht’s favorite part of the season has been getting to know her players and watching the team members grow and develop. She feels like her players have reminded her to have fun and enjoy the sport.
“I feel like sometimes I learn more from them than I teach,” said Coach Najacht.
Najacht wants her players to finish this season with a newfound confidence on and off the court.
“I want them to remember this season as one where they worked hard, learned a lot from volleyball, had fun and made memories,” said Najacht.
Outside of volleyball, Najacht loves traveling and owning dogs. She hopes to adopt two rescue Golden Retrievers after the season is over.
The season isn’t over yet, and as the Knights get ready for their upcoming games, Coach Victoria Najacht will be in the gym pushing them to perform at their best.
“I think we have a group of really great coaches and phenomenal athletes. I think with continued hard work and commitment we are headed in a really positive direction,” said Coach Najacht.