OGLESBY — Erin Polte grew up in the IVCC gym, following her mom’s volleyball teams. Now she’s coming home
The 2009 Hall High School graduate has been named as the IVCC volleyball coach, succeeding Julie Sherbeyn, who resigned to take a coaching job in Wyoming. Her mother coached six seasons at IVCC from 1999-2004 as well as coaching two stints at Hall.
“I know the program really well, because I grew up in that gym,” Polte said. “I was at practices and games all the time. I couldn’t get away from it if I wanted to. It’s kind of cool to come full circle there.”
At the young age of 23 and just one year out of college with limited coaching experience, Polte didn’t know this opportunity was going to come so soon. A 2013 graduate of Graceland University where she played volleyball four years, Polte spent the past season coaching the freshmen at Hall and the IVVP club team.
“I think there’s probably not that many (coaches her age). I think that was the biggest reason I was surprised,” Polte said. “On paper, I don’t have a lot of coaching experience. But my knowledge of this sport is extremely extensive. It’s all I’ve grown up on. So, I’m confident I can do the job, and I’m confident I can do it well.
“I’m really excited to be coaching at this level because it’s at the level I want to be at.”
On the other hand, her mother, wasn’t as surprised to see her get the job.
“She’s very exited for me, I think she had more confidence in me than I did in myself getting the job. So she wasn’t near as surprised as I was getting the job,” Polte said. “I said, ‘Why aren’t you excited?’ She said, ‘I just knew it was going to happen.’ She just didn’t have the surprise factor that I had.”
Polte is excited to get in the gym with the girls and see what she’s got to work with this fall. She will be welcoming in a handful of recruits around the Illinois Valley with just two returners coming back.
“I really like what I’m seeing,” she said. “We’ve only got two returners, so we’re going to be a very young team, which I think is going to be a good thing. Not everybody’s going to be use to Julie’s coaching style. The majority of the team is going to get used to my coaching style.”
She’s spent this week at the Princeton volleyball camp, assisting PHS coach Andy Puck, which she said helps her get in tune with the prep programs around the Illinois Valley. She’s also getting to work alongside IVCC recruit Becca Hult, who’s also serving as a camp instructor.
“I always have fun coming to camps,” Polte said. “I think camps are a real good thing so you can keep building up toward your whole community future. Not only is this Princeton’s community, this could possibly be my community later on down the years. I have Becca there coming in. She’s going to be swinging front row for us. She’s from Princeton.
“I think it’s a really good thing to get them going with the mechanics you want them to have down the road so you don’t have to teach it later.”