Ali VanVickle spent her entire high school career with the Rochelle volleyball program, working her way up to the varsity team and becoming the top offensive weapon at the outside hitter position. VanVickle has since returned to the Lady Hubs as a volleyball coach, and her recent experience as a student-athlete has helped grow Rochelle’s up-and-coming players.
VanVickle, a former captain for the Lady Hubs, earned her first taste of high school coaching this past season, when she served as head coach of the freshman team. VanVickle’s return to the Lady Hubs comes roughly two years after her brief career with Kishwaukee College, where she totaled 110 kills and led the Kougars with 2.24 kills per set during the 2017-18 season.
“When I was approached about my interest in coaching at the high school, I thought my experience as an athlete could be useful to the new RTHS athletes,” VanVickle said. “I had a great group of athletes this past season. They wanted to learn and they were very driven, which made the season very enjoyable. I enjoyed seeing their progress as individuals and as a team.”
VanVickle’s collegiate highlights included a double-double performance against Black Hawk College in Moline, where she recorded 15 kills and 10 digs for the Kougars. Since returning to the Lady Hubs in a coaching role, VanVickle said her recent experiences have allowed her to help the volleyball program’s young players learn how to balance academics and athletics. VanVickle said she plans to remain active in coaching, regardless of what her role may be.
“I do plan to coach for a while,” VanVickle said. “I’m happy with the level I’m currently at. I wouldn’t mind staying at this level or moving up. My recent experience as a student-athlete has made it easier for me to help the kids understand the need to balance school and sports. Coaching has given me the insight into what my players go through on a daily basis, and it’s showed me different ways I can approach different situations.”