Misty Arnold returns as head coach of the Pratt Community College volleyball team this year. After taking over a program that was somewhat in disarray mid-season last year and engineering a late-season surge by the Lady Beavers, Coach Arnold is looking forward to her first full season at the PCC helm.
“I’m excited to coach here,” she said. “I look forward to serving the students and the community. I want to bring my experience and see what we can accomplish.”
Arnold does sport an impressive resume as she embarks upon her 18th year of coaching. After playing collegiately at HCC, Arnold began her coaching career in the prep ranks, guiding teams like Stafford and Nickerson to their first state tournament appearances. She was named one of the winningest prep coaches by KSHSAA.
She then coached at Kansas State University for 7 years and was an assistant at HCC just prior to taking the job at PCC. She was already familiar with Pratt, having assisted then-PCC coach Pat Hall in preseason workouts.
When the head volleyball job at PCC became available during the season last year, Arnold stepped into the breach. In the final few weeks of the season, under her leadership, the Lady Beavers improved three places in the conference standings and achieved a signature win in three sets over traditional power Seward County.
After displaying potential at the end of last season, this year’s Lady Beavers are looking forward to competing and representing PCC well this year. “Our goals are to work hard and beat teams that underestimate us,” Arnold said. “Our focus will be to see how good we can pass, control the ball and play offense and defense.”
Hutch, Seward, Barton and Colby are expected to field solid teams in the Jayhawk West, a traditionally tough volleyball conference. But Arnold expects her team to be able to compete with any of them.
PCC has 16 players on scholarship, led by a good group of returning sophomores. “The sophomores will all contribute,” Arnold stated. “They have shown a lot of growth and development from last year.”
Ashlie Gramke returns at MH/B and Darian Konrade will be back at her OH spot. Coach Arnold expects to see some great defense being played by players such as Alexis Blanchat, Camera Broadnax and Haylee Eck. “They will make some spectacular digs and saves,” Arnold predicted.
In addition, a promising group of freshmen have been recruited that will take over some starting spots and also provide depth. “All our setters are freshmen,” Arnold noticed. “That makes for a fun dynamic.”
“One we’re really excited about is Alexis Sanchez from Dodge City,” Arnold continued. “She was highly recruited.”
Page 2 of 2 - Assisted by Kelley Maydew, Arnold is looking forward to getting the upcoming season underway. She concluded by saying, “We want to find the right mix, work together and take PCC volleyball to the next level.”