Robin Chandler has been promoted to head coach of the Manteca High varsity girls volleyball team.
She replaces Kevin Bolding, who ended his second stint with the program after seven seasons. It should be an easy transition for the players and their new coach, who has known many of them since they were in middle school.
“A lot of these girls I've coached either in middle school or club — I'd say probably 95 of them I've coached at one point,” she said. “It's really a special group, so I'm looking forward to it.”
All-Valley Oak League first-team libero Abbey Kadillak and middle blocker Karlie Spohn are part of a talented class of sophomores that has previously played for Chandler at Woodward Elementary, where she coached for six years. Also part of that group is her daughter Arielle, who was named Co-MVP of Manteca's junior varsity team last fall.
“(Kadillak) used to attend my practices when her older sister was on the team before she could play for us at Woodward,” Chandler said. “I knew way back then how amazing she's going to be and I expect her to be one of the leaders on the team.
“Karlie was somebody I recruited at Woodward — I told my daughter to get her try out.”
All-VOL second-team outside hitters Adrianna Powell and Camrenne Genilla are other sophomores of note. Manteca also has an experienced junior class that includes third-year varsity players Therese Ferral, Isabella George and Sydnee Navarro. Chandler has high hopes for Kyaira Jacobs, a basketball standout who helps anchor the back row.
“There's a lot of sophomore talent that are going to be juniors and we have some good seniors coming back as well,” Chandler said. “I'm familiar with all the girls who played at all levels this year and I see the potential they have.”
Also returning is junior varsity coach/varsity assistant Mike Morenzone, an accomplished coach himself with previous stops at East Union and Ripon.
“We work well together and he's just an amazing coach,” Chandler said of Morenzone. “All the girls love him.”
Bolding and Morenzone's daughters, Kacy Bolding and Kaitlyn Morenzone, were setters on the 2017 Manteca team that went 24-10 and claimed the first VOL title for the program since 1991. The Buffaloes also made their first California Interscholastic Federation NorCal appearance in 27 years.
This past fall, Manteca took second in league and went 16-7 overall.
A loan officer at Ability Mortgage in Ripon, Chandler began playing volleyball middle school and continued at Castro Valley High and Chabot College. She started coaching with Bolding's Club Manteca program, doing so for three years before her time at Woodward.
She joined Bolding's boys volleyball staff as varsity assistant for the 2017 and 2018 seasons when the Buffaloes claimed back-to-back Valley Oak League championships. Her son Kylan starred at outside hitter for those teams and is a two-time Manteca Bulletin All-Area MVP.
Chandler head coached the freshman girls teams the past two years, guiding the Buffs to the 2018 league title.
“I have such a passion for the sport of volleyball,” Chandler said. “I soak up as much as I can and I can be a little obsessive. I am constantly learning and ready to put everything I've learned into this team. I want to build from the middle schools all the way up.”