MENDOTA – The Mendota Spikers will be under the leadership of LaMoille native Hallie Monroe for the 2019 season. Monroe accepted the varsity head coaching position on June 28. Her hiring is pending District 280 Board approval.
Monroe formerly coached at LaMoille High School and will continue as the eighth-grade volleyball coach at Logan Junior High School in Princeton, where she resides. She is currently the Mendota Elementary District 289 nurse.
Monroe stepped away from the high school game after the 2017 season ahead of the birth of her daughter, Harper, who is 14 months old. She prayed about her decision and decided the timing was right.
“I remember saying I would hope to get back in when it was the right time for myself and my family, and the right program, and I really do think this is the case,” she said.
“I’m just excited to get started with them. It will be a new group. It will be them getting used to me and me getting used to them. I hope it will be a smooth transition.”
Monroe has watched her new team this summer and likes what she sees with strong players up front and a deep back row. While she likes the Spikers’ aggressiveness at the service line, she doesn’t want them to be reckless, but rather find a balance.
Monroe said she is making adjustments to the summer schedule and is excited to get started in the Sterling league on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting July 9. She will also have open gyms on Mondays. Assistant coach Robert Nunn has been running the summer program, Monroe said.
The new Spiker coach was pleased to hear from Mendota athletic director Steve Hanson that the team will be in Class 2A this year after playing in 3A the past seven years. The Spikers went 5-7 in 3A regional play, never making it past the semifinals until falling to Geneseo in the Princeton Regional championship last year.
“That got me extra excited, not going to lie,” Monroe said. “I think it’s the right placement for them being in 2A, even for the talent they have. I still don’t think anything will come easy. I look forward to what they can do in the postseason.”
Mendota has won 20 regional championships, all in Class A of the two-class format, its last in 2006.
Monroe, 28, is the former Hallie May, who graduated from LaMoille High School in 2009 and returned to her alma mater as head coach in 2010 at age 19, just two years older than her seniors. She coached eight years for LaMoille-Ohio, posting an overall record of 126-117, going 66-37 over her final three seasons.
Monroe guided the Lady Lions to back-to-back regional championships in 2016 and 2017, reaching the sectional finals in 2016 for the first time in decades for either LaMoille or Ohio.