Rittimann returns to her roots
Fredericksburg High School Volleyball Head Coach Kaci Rittimann has started her inaugural season with a 14-16 record but earning a win from Medina Valley on Tuesday hits close to home.
Rittiman attended Medina Valley High School where she played on the varsity volleyball team for four years where her experience was different from the experiences many players have today.
“My high school experience was more about having fun, instead of being competitive,” said Rittimann. “I mean we always made the playoffs. That was a given, but once we made the playoffs, it wasn’t very intense or competitive. It was more the fun atmosphere.”
During her time at Medina Valley, she and her older sister were two of the only players that played club volleyball, something that many girls weren’t involved in like they are today.
“Club volleyball was more my competitiveness, more my drive, and not that high school wasn’t, but there weren’t a lot of girls that played club volleyball then, so it was hard to bring that competitiveness from club into school ball,” said Rittimann.
Because of her experiences in high school and club volleyball, she found her passion to be a leader.
“When I was in high school, I was one of the only club players beside my sister, so I had no choice but to step up and be a leader,” said Rittimann. “When I actually felt like I could make a difference and I saw that the girls were learning from me was when I decided that I wanted to coach.”
As Rittimann prepares to head back to Medina Valley for her 10-year class reunion, she sees the experience of playing her alma mater very unique.
“Not a lot of coaches can say that they get to play their alma mater,” said Rittimann. “When I played for Medina Valley, my sister was a senior and I was a freshman, so we got to play a year of varsity together. Back then, it heavily relied on her and me. It was to carry the team. I felt like when we played, it was either win or lose, it was on you. If we didn’t show up to play, the other girls fed off us and it was like everyone was having a bad day.”
Today, Rittiman tries to incorporate different lessons and fundamentals than what she learned in high school into her coaching. Her biggest realization was that the sport is not an individual sport like it was during her high school years but that it’s a team effort.
“I know when I came in I said ‘I am not going to rely on one person to win those games’ because usually that one person can only take us so far,” said Rittimann. “I think that was a big learning experience for me at Medina Valley. I think what’s helped me is that I have never based a team off one person. It’s always been a team effort.”
While Rittimann now coaches and roots for the Billies, she feels a closer connection to the players her team will face.
“It’s always fun to relate to the kids. I was a Medina Valley Panther, I’ve been in exactly your shoes,” said Rittimann.
Rittimann is hopeful in defeating her alma mater and hopes that the energy from the crowd fuels her team to win.
“I told them we better win or else practice on Wednesday won’t be very fun,” she laughed.
Scores from Tuesday night’s game against Medina Valley can be found in the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post Daily Update.