EDMOND — Deer Creek volleyball knows change.
The Antlers played under four different coaches in the last seven years. They finished below .500 each year until last season when the squad finished 15-8.
Enter: Lisa Polcovich, Deer Creek's new head coach.
When asked what she wants to do with this team, her first answer was “to bring some stability to the program.”
She knows the importance of that.
Polcovich grew up in Columbus, Neb., the youngest of seven. She played four sports in high school, winning state in track; traveling with the USVBA junior Olympic team; named an All-American among Nebraska high school athletes; and finished as runner-up Athlete of the Year.
All those opportunities, along with the consistency of her coaches, made Polcovich better.
“They were great high school coaches,” Polcovich said. “If not for them, I wouldn't have gone so far.”
“Far” was a shot at a Division I scholarship to the University of Florida from 1987 to 1991. “Far” was helping the Gators to the Sweet 16.
Polcovich was pursued by Deer Creek once before, but she turned down the opportunity. Her children, Kaden and Teagan, were much younger and motherly duties, as well as work as a personal trainer, came first. Now that the kids are older, a freshman and sixth grader, Polcovich agreed to bring some continuity to the Antlers.
“I think it's important to instill work ethic and a positive attitude and character development,” Polcovich said.
For the last five years, she's done that at Peak volleyball club.
Deer Creek captain Taylor Turner said she already sees it on the team.
“I feel like I changed schools,” said Turner, who was part of the Antlers squad that lost at regional finals. “She's completely turned the program around. We've gained confidence. She's an excellent, wise coach.”
Now the team is focused on returning to regional finals, and then making it to state.
It'd be their first trip ever.
How's that for change?