The Richland volleyball team is gearing up for an ambitious season. Veteran coach Zelda Smith is putting together a team to take to the NJCAA Division III Championship in November. Last year, the team went to conference and finished just behind Eastfield Community College.
Smith lives and breathes volleyball. She played as a middle blocker in college at the University of North Texas and now has 30 years of coaching experience under her belt, 15 of which have been at Richland. The team has encountered many rivalries due to its unique circumstances of playing teams from different divisions.
“Richland has the most students in the county and is the most diverse so we became rivals by default,” Smith said. Although Richland is a Division III school, Smith’s strategy is to take on tougher schools early in order to develop an exceptional team in time for the finals. “We’ll play even four-year schools like Dallas Christian. We play Arlington Baptist, but we can set up our schedule to play anyone.”
The volleyball team’s first game will be Aug. 29 against Arlington Baptist. Their first home game will be against the same team on Sept.12 and first game against another Dallas County Community College District school, North Lake College, on Sept.18. For full team schedule go to https://alt.richlandcollege.edu/assets/uploads/2017/07/Volleyball-Schedule-2017.pdf.