Boys Volleyball Looks to Thrive Under New Leadership

Senior Bryce McDaniel prepares to hit the ball as new head coach, Robin Yuede, guides him (Peyton Rives)

The FHN varsity boys volleyball season will kick off with a jamboree held at Parkway North on Monday, March 20. This season, the boys will be led by new head coach, Robin Yuede.

“I think [Yuede] will be a change in pace, but she’ll be a good coach for the better of us,” senior libero Jake Oppenborn said. “She will work on each individual and improving everyone’s skill.”

With the season about to kick off, the boys have been practicing daily. Each practice has a set theme. For each day of the week, varsity will focus on position training, hitting, passing, communication and conditioning. Following the jamboree, varsity will play against FZS in their first game of the season on March 21.

“So far, it has been really enjoyable,” Yuede said. “They are very talented players, and I think, at first, it was hard to see where were going. Now that the pieces are starting to come together, they get it. I think it’s just different because every coach has a different coaching style. It’s hard, especially when you’re a senior and you get a new coach who wants you to do different things.”

Yuede has been coaching volleyball for a total of 23 years, while working in Wentzville, SCW and FHN. She has been at FHN for a total of 18 years and was the former varsity girls head coach. After stepping down as varsity coach, Yuede coached the freshman girls team and has now been named the new coach for the varsity boys.  

“I’ve been asked for years to coach or be an assistant,” Yuede said. “Being girls head coach was too time-consuming, and I had a daughter who was playing in college at the time. I would go travel in the spring to see her play, so I just never really had the time. When Mr. Janes asked me, I didn’t really have a good excuse on why not to coach. Coaching freshman [girls] this year also really reinvigorated why I like coaching.”

After playing high school volleyball at Rosati Kain, Yuede pursued volleyball at UMSL. Since then, she has grown to discover that her passion is coaching.

“She’s very well-respected around the area, and she’s been coaching for a very long time,” Oppenborn said. “She has played before too, so I feel like she has a lot of knowledge about the sport and experience.”

Current and former players agree that her experience is her greatest strength and that she holds the FHN players to a high standard. After coaching the girls for so long, Yuede has had to adapt to the boys playing style, while the boys adapt to her coaching style.

“Yuede was a fantastic coach,” former player Bekah Fincke said. “She always made us work as hard as we could to see our full potential. She always pushed us. Yuede was a coach that made me realize my full potential and be the best volleyball player that I could be.”

Last season, FHN won the GAC. After winning the conference, FHN placed second at Districts and made it to the quarterfinals in State. Yuede is looking to build on the success of last year and improve for the future.

“My personal goal in the future is to grow the program,” Yuede said. “Right now, it is a little sparse and it reminds me of when I took over the girls program. There wasn’t excitement about being on the FHN girls volleyball team. Just getting the boys team to that point, where there is excitement, is my long term goal. I think the boys kind of realize that I know what I am talking about, so they’re buying into the program.”

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