After doubling as Baker University's volleyball coach and softball coach the past four years, Jill Stutler wanted something different.
``I just needed a change,'' said Stutler, a 1986 Lawrence High graduate and Baker product. ``I had been there so long and wanted to have a bigger impact on the players.''
The change was a move to high school, where she coaches Perry-Lecompton volleyball. The Kaws were 8-12 after splitting with Santa Fe Trail and McLouth at Tuesday's triangular at Perry.
``You have to be a bit more creative at this level with the talent that you have,'' said Stutler, who actually coached BU volleyball two years before taking over the softball post. ``The girls seem to work harder because they have something they want to go onto like college ball.''
Three seniors (Annette Hart, Emily Faurot and Denae Grimmett) and three juniors (Crystal Strunk, Nicole Franz and Jessica Cooper) started for the Kaws against SFT.
Stutler senses a higher level of intensity from high school players.
``Sometimes in college they get a little content,'' Stutler said. ``These girls have improved quite a bit. They come out hard every day.''
Last weekend at the Tonganoxie tournament, the Kaws pleased Stutler by winning two of five matches. She pointed to that tourney as a turnaround for her team.
``We need to do the little things like communication and the basics,'' Stutler said. ``Once we do that we play really well.''
Stutler was a senior on Lawerence High's 42-1 Class 6A state championship team in 1985. She tries to instill that winning attitude into Perry's program.
``You learn a lot by just the work ethic and tradition you're trying to live up to,'' she said.
-- Steve Rottinghaus' phone message number is 832-7152. His e-mail address is email@example.com