Dayton Christian Volleyball Lays a Foundation for Long-Term Success

10/23/2018

Dayton Christian Volleyball Lays a Foundation
for Long-Term Success

Construction is a popular topic these
days among the families, faculty and staff at Dayton Christian High School, but
to those familiar with its 55-year history, their collective enthusiasm is well
warranted.  For years, the school’s
various sports teams have had to play their home games at rented facilities
throughout the area. However, all of that is about to change since DC recently
broke ground on the long-awaited 31,000 square-foot Warrior Center which will
serve as the hub of activity for the school’s indoor athletic programs. 

As anticipation for the new facility has
grown, similar excitement has begun to follow the school’s volleyball program
which embarked on its own construction efforts when it named Angi Dabbelt as
its new head varsity volleyball coach in January of 2018.

Dabbelt’s hire followed her two-year
tenure as the head coach of Dayton Christian’s junior high team which she led
to a second place finish in the Metro Buckeye Conference in 2016, and then an
undefeated championship season in 2017.

Though she inherited a tradition-rich varsity
program which owned six shared or outright conference titles, as well as two state
final four appearances, it hadn’t enjoyed more than five wins in a single
season since earning its last conference crown in 2014.

Coach Dabbelt, who first honed her
skills as a player at Stebbins High School and then on the NCAA Division I
level at Wright State University, arrived with a competitive fire that sought
to not only rebuild the varsity squad, but the culture of the program as a
whole.

“One of the first things I wanted to
establish is that the players here are part of a family,” says Coach Dabbelt.  “I want all the girls to feel like it's a
safe place where they can learn the sport and grow together, from the youngest to
the oldest.  We have fun, but we're also competitive
and we work hard to build that unity from within.”

Players are expected to keep weekly
journals to share about each of their personal challenges and goals, and teammates
are assigned to one another as prayer partners who meet routinely throughout
the season.  Players are also given the
responsibility to lead weekly team devotionals.

“The foundation Coach Dabbelt is
laying is creating an environment that will allow these girls to grow and
mature for years to come,” says Ben Shroyer, Dayton Christian Athletic
Director.  “She’s brought in much needed
enthusiasm, passion and dedication and the girls have really rallied behind her
leadership.”

That leadership has been vital as
she’s been charged with guiding a varsity team that doesn’t have a single
senior on its roster. Though the learning curve has sometimes been steep for a
lineup that routinely starts as many as four freshmen, this group’s potential
is already being felt as underclassmen are among the conference’s top ten leaders
in kills, serves, assists, digs and blocks.

“I think this group has the opportunity
to do some really great things,” says Coach Dabbelt. “There’s no telling how
far they’ll be able to go if they continue to work hard and prepare during the
off-season.”

Much like the Warrior Center, the construction
process for Coach Dabbelt is a labor of love as much as it is about building a
framework for future success on the court. 
It’s almost fitting then that Dayton Christian’s volleyball team will be
the first of the school’s athletic programs to use the facility when the season
opens in the fall of 2019.

“It just goes right along with what
our vision is, that we are a family and that this family will have a home,”
says Coach Dabbelt.   “I think it will be
super, super cool to be the first team to be in there!”

By: Jeff Thompson,
DC contributing writer