Rittimann setting up for success
The Fredericksburg High School volleyball team began practices this week for the upcoming season but under a new head coach.
With the departure of long-time head coach Jason Roemer, Kaci Rittimann is looking to fill some big shoes.
“It’s a great school; it’s in a great school district and they have had a phenomenal program,” said Rittimann. “Jason Roemer ran a great program here, so when the job opened up, I knew that it was a program that I wanted to be in and be surrounded in and definitely build for the next couple of years.”
Rittimann, who grew up in Castroville, played for Medina Valley in high school and continued her career at Lamar University.
After four successful years as a collegiate player, she received honors such as Most Valuable Player of the Southland Conference Tournament in 2009 and was named to the 50th Anniversary All Time Southland Volleyball Honor Roll, which included 83 past and present standout players and coaches.
Rittimann always knew she wanted to coach, so following graduation, she started her coaching career.
“I had great coaches whenever I was playing, said Rittimann. “I was influenced to be that coach that I had that really changed a kid’s life. A coach is sometimes the most influential person. For me, that was huge for why I steered into coaching.”
Rittimann also appreciates the second family that comes with having a team.
“One, I love the sport, but two, it’s so much more than just volleyball for me,” said Rittimann. “For me, it’s second nature, it’s a family, and these girls will become my second family.”
As she prepares to take on her first season coaching the Billies, she has many goals for the team, including winning state.
“First, our big goal is state; not just to go to state but to win state,” said Rittimann. “I have a very heavy junior/senior class so it is to win state.”
Even with Fredericksburg being considered an advanced team, meaning many of the girls play on club teams or are being scouted collegiately, there are still many changes that have to happen for the team to reach their goal.
The team has to start by making important changes on a basic fundamental level.
“I focus a lot on fundamentals. So to have a team that has experience, it’s exciting to jump into the more advanced drills, the more advanced aspects of the game” said Rittmann. “But they (fundamentals) are always overlooked and that’s where your defensive service and receive can lack because you don’t have those fundamentals.”
Last year, the team won many games offensively and Rittimann says it’s now time to win games defensively. But it all comes back to the fundamentals.
“Fundamentals can be kind of boring,” said Rittimann. “For me, it’s just finding a way for them to understand that defensive receive was horrible last year and the only way to make that better is starting from scratch and changing those bad habits.”
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