Vicki Samarin faced a decision: help Clovis East High School pursue a second straight Central Section girls volleyball title, or give up the reins as coach for the free time needed to travel to watch her son play for defending NCAA men’s national champion Ohio State.
Frequent flier miles won.
So Samarin stepped down after a 10-year run and has been replaced by former Clovis West, Fresno Pacific and Fresno State standout Lauren (Albertson) Winslow.
“I just thought, ‘OK, it’s time.’ I want to watch my son play and it’s a little hard to get back to Columbus when I’m coaching,” said Samarin, whose son, Aaron, is entering his junior season as a libero for the Buckeyes. “I’ve never gone out in the fall because of the high school season. So now I’ll have the opportunity to catch a few more games. If it was up to me, I’d be there every weekend and use all my air miles.”
Samarin walks away from a Clovis East team that returns starters Abby Edwards, Jocelyn Rodriguez and Madison Mossette from last season, when the Timberwolves went 33-8 while winning the program’s first Tri-River Athletic Conference and section Division I titles.
The competitive part of me was, ‘Man, I want to stay and see what I know we can do.’ But I knew I needed to (step down), so it was a good time.
Vicki Samarin, who resigned as coach of section champion Clovis East to be able to watch her son play college ball
Second-seeded Clovis East swept No. 1 Liberty-Bakersfield 25-18, 25-20, 25-22 in the section final before a 25-20, 25-21, 17-25, 23-25, 15-8 loss to eventual CIF State Division I champion Redondo-Redondo Beach in the opening round of the Southern California Regionals.
The 55-year-old Samarin said she won’t take another head-coaching position, which would close the books on a 22-season career that’s produced 10 league and three section titles among stops at Selma, Kerman and Clovis East, according to section historian Bob Barnett. Samarin went 173-156 at Clovis East.
“It’s very hard to step away,” Samarin said. “Looking at what’s still there on the shelf, there are still some good players and the team is going to be good. It’s not like they can’t do it again. The competitive part of me was, ‘Man, I want to stay and see what I know we can do.’ But I knew I needed to (step down), so it was a good time.”
Clovis East lost its opener Tuesday to defending Sac-Joaquin Section D-I champion Pitman-Turlock 19-25, 23-25, 25-18, 25-20, 20-18.
Winslow, The Fresno Bee’s 2008 Co-Player of the Year after leading Clovis West to its first section title, joins the Timberwolves after spending last season as an assistant at NAIA power Biola. She’s also been an assistant at Central Valley Christian and Clovis West, and is a coach with the Cen Cal Volleyball Club.
Winslow was a three-year starter – and co-captain her senior season – at Fresno State after transferring from Fresno Pacific, where she helped the Sunbirds capture the NAIA title as a freshman.
Coach Samarin did a fantastic job with this whole program.
Lauren (Albertson) Winslow, on succeeding Samarin as the Timberwolves’ girls volleyball coach
“I’ve got big shoes to fill. Coach Samarin did a fantastic job with this whole program,” Winslow said. “I am thrilled with the amount of faith this administration has in me and the support they are providing me. And I’m excited to be working with these girls, who are hungry to get after another championship.”
CENTRAL SECTION VOLLEYBALL RANKINGS
- 1. Clovis (TRAC, 0-0)
- 2. Central (TRAC, 6-3)
- 3. Clovis West (TRAC, 3-1)
- 4. Liberty-Bakersfield (SWYL, 0-1)
- 5. Clovis East (TRAC, 0-1)
- 6. Buchanan (TRAC, 1-0)
- 7. Frontier (SWYL, 1-0)
- 8. Bakersfield Christian (SSL, 2-0)
- 9. Centennial (SWYL, 3-1)
- 10. Stockdale (SWYL, 2-0)
- 11. Central Valley Christian (CSL, 0-1)
- 12. Garces (SWYL, 0-0)
- 13. Clovis North (TRAC, 1-1)
- 14. Redwood (WYL, 2-0)
- 15. Bakersfield (SWYL, 1-0)
- 16. Exeter (CSL, 2-0)
- 17. Mission Oak (EYL, 2-0)
- 18. Independence (SYL, 1-0-1)
- 19. Hoover (NYL, 3-0)
- 20. Lemoore (WYL, 2-0)
Division I: 1. Clovis; 2. Central; 3. Clovis West
Division II: 1. CVC; 2. Redwood; 3. Exeter
Division III: 1. Bakersfield Christian; 2. Mission Oak; 3. Memorial (1-0)
Division IV: 1. Sierra (1-0); 2. Minarets (3-0); 3. Liberty-Madera Ranchos (8-0)
Division V: Frazier Mountain (2-0); 2. Immanuel (3-0); 3. Laton (2-0)