Coach Jacquie Palaschak Moves from Freshman to Varsity


Volleyball faces new changes with a new coach

Nick Puszert, the volleyball coach, tennis coach, and math teacher at Potomac Falls left the volleyball program this year, making way for new coach Jacquie Palaschak, the former freshman volleyball coach, to take his place leading the varsity squad.

“Freshman year, I loved her as a coach, and I thought she was a really, really good coach, so I was happy she was going to be leading the program,” said sophomore Claire Whitcomb.

Palaschak likes to be competitive and likes to make her girls look like a team and feel like a team. “She’s very focused on keeping a strong mentality and staying tough even if you’re not doing well…keeping [up] your ‘mental toughness’, she says that a lot. She’s very strong-willed. She knows that we can be confident in ourselves; we just have to believe we can do it,” said Whitcomb.

As a new coach rises, so do new changes to the team. “A big change is that we added about eight new girls, and we are just trying to get along and see how we can work well together and develop our strengths and weaknesses from there,” said senior Abby Baccam.

Palaschak is putting a new perspective on the way practices are run as well. “When she brings new drills I haven’t done before, I get to learn them and see them at a different point of view, or if we’re doing a drill I have done before, she puts them in a new perspective that I haven’t thought of before,” said freshman Tami Altarace.

One of the new drills is a “roll-on-roll-off” drill that gives the team a sense of urgency, and it makes them hustle. However, the varsity team had a slow start to the season, opening 1-9. “It doesn’t feel great opening with only one win. I believe we have the skill and potential to win more games than we have so far this season,” said sophomore Grace Palmer.

With six out of the 16 players being seniors, the team adapting to new varsity players as well as the new coach. “We are adjusting, and we are getting to know each other, because there are so many new girls but otherwise, we are developing something that could be great,” said Baccam.