Triceratops Volleyball Focused on Team Unity for 2022
Team relaunches with 12 freshmen, new coach Tionne El-Amin
New Triceratops head volleyball coach Tionne El-Amin is a former Tri-C player, having last played for the College in fall 2018.
A lot has changed in four years. Now, as head coach of the program, she has been tasked with restarting it after all Tri-C athletics were placed on hiatus for two years due to pandemic restrictions and department-wide restructuring.
How do you rebuild a volleyball program from scratch? El-Amin said it comes down to knowing what type of players you want and looking for those qualities as you review game film, hold tryouts, interview prospective recruits and talk to their high school coaches.
“Because of the timing when I came aboard this past January, and the need to find the best possible players in a relatively short amount of time, I had to get a little creative with scouting,” El-Amin said. “I couldn’t do much game scouting at all, so a lot of it was girls coming to me with interest, and then I’d review their game film and talk to their coaches.”
After signing an initial group of six incoming freshmen, El-Amin recruited six more through tryouts over the spring and summer. She heads into the 2022 season with a roster of 12 freshmen – 11 from high school and one transfer student:
Aisha Boling of Cleveland (transfer)
Jynx Bretz of Mantua
Leah Cheatham of Akron
Amaya Dolce of Moreland Hills
Kamryn Kondrach of Massillon
Mackenzie Langford of Mantua
Jourdan Longino of Maple Heights
Olivia Meaney of Middleburg Heights
Mallory Rice of Streetsboro
Ceniza Rivera of Brunswick
Lina Ruf of Massillon
Makenzi Thompson of Ravenna
“I looked for players who are team-oriented, who won’t give up and who continually challenge themselves, which is important for a team this young,” El-Amin said. “I didn’t want just a collection of individuals — I wanted pieces of a puzzle that fit together.”
To help sow the seeds of team unity over the summer, she scheduled activities including a picnic and a flag football game.
“I wanted to build a sense of team and togetherness while also seeing how well they compete and communicate,” she said. “It was great — they were working together and even drawing up their own plays. I really started to get excited for the season then.”
In this first year back, El-Amin wants her players to keep focusing on the unity they’ve begun to develop, which will serve the players and program well in the long run.
“I want people to know this version of the Tri-C volleyball program will be first rate in every phase,” she said. “The level of passion, the commitment to success on the court and in the classroom, the fun we have playing. This is a program that has the talent and resources to compete for conference titles every year, and to win even more than that.”
She also wants her players to take the lessons they learn in the program and apply them to life.
“This will be a place where our girls thrive, where they set the foundation for what happens next, wherever they play next, wherever their careers take them. The experience will help our girls long after they leave Tri-C.”
Triceratops volleyball opens its home schedule Monday, Aug. 29, at 6:30 p.m. against Macomb Community College. All games are played at the Eastern Campus (4250 Richmond Road in Highland Hills). Admission is free.
View the full schedule here.
August 24, 2022
Erik Cassano, 216-987-3577 or firstname.lastname@example.org