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Volleyball coach resigns after 9 years

After nine seasons, coach Larry Orender announced his resignation as head of the volleyball program on Nov. 21. Orender presented the news during lunch to the team.

?We were all disappointed,? Kally Batesole, ?09, said. ?I?m glad he?s going to pursue his career, but I am going to miss him as my coach.?

Orender wanted to work for the state as a correctional officer, for three years.

?I want to work at the Chowchilla Women?s Prison in the counseling department,? Orender said. ?I just want to help those who need it and it is a great way to witness to non-believers.?

Although Orender is looking forward to this new opportunity, he admits he will miss the game and players.

?The game never changes, but the players do,? Orender said. ?The relationships made on and off the court is what makes our team so special and I will definitely miss that the most.?

When Orender first graduated from Buchanan High in 1996, he coached the boys junior varsity team for five years to help pay for college at Fresno State. He then heard about an available coaching position at Fresno Christian and decided to apply.

?I first started coaching at Fresno Christian because a girl who went to my church told me her school needed a junior varsity coach,? Orender said. ?I was a college student and I needed the money.?

Orender coached numerous first team all league players and five league championship teams over the past ten years.

?I am going to miss everything about Coach Orender,? Melanie Nachtigall, ?08, said. ?He has been my coach since my freshman year and it will be strange showing up to practice without him there.?

Although Orender will not be coaching any longer, he tells the team he will come and support them at games.

?I love Fresno Christian volleyball and I wouldn?t want to miss out on all the action,? Orender said. ?I still hope to see a united team with a desire to win. I hope that the girls won?t lose their passion and will to fight because that is what gives the game its intensity.?

Next year, the program will be headed by assistant coach, Shaylee Jones. Orender remains confident in her coaching abilities.

?I am very excited for coach Jones,? Orender said. ?She has a tremendous amount of technical knowledge and team spirit and I am sure the team will do well next year and in the years to come.?

Although Jones admits she will miss Orender, she knows her experiences assisting him will carry over into her coaching plan.

?I really enjoyed working behind coach Orender and seeing how he interacts with the team,? Jones said. ?I am thrilled to have the opportunity to take over as head coach and I hope to influence the girls to develop character and represent God and Christ individually and as a team.?

While the parents of varsity players look forward to next season with Jones, they know they will also miss Orender?s presence.

?It will definitely be different without coach Orender around,? Pam Lauber, junior parent said. ?He was an excellent coach and I often told my daughter if I had a son, I?d like him to be just like Orender.?

For more information regarding Orender’s last season, click Volleyball sport shorts

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