Taking over the Notre Dame volleyball program after last season was a move that many might have looked at as a challenge. But to head coach Troy Haught, the opportunity came at the right time.
Haught, who had experience coaching in the Mountain East Conference (MEC) with Urbana University, is looking to take the Falcons to the next level. He said he sees a bright future for this program.
Haught grew up in the Northeast Ohio area in Canton. His father was a volleyball coach for 35 years and was influential to getting him into the game. Haught played volleyball throughout high school and started coaching while he was a senior in high school. He has coached against Notre Dame for the past three years but now is looking at the team from a different perspective.
“I knew what we had here when I took the job,” Haught said. “It was a program that could be built.”
And looking at many of the volleyball rosters from schools around the area and beyond, it is clear that Northeast Ohio can be a great recruiting spot.
“Not only is Notre Dame a great school to recruit to,” Haught said, “but the Cleveland area is one of the top places to recruit (because of the high school talent).”
And as the new head coach of the Falcons, Haught is looking to change the atmosphere of the program. This season, he said they have high hopes and big goals they will be looking to reach.
“We want to make the MEC tournament this season,” Haught said. “We should compete very well with the teams in this conference.”
Notre Dame missed out on the conference tournament last season after going 7-21 overall and 5-11 in the conference. And the Falcons are changing the style of their game this season, too.
“The team is doing well with what I am asking them to do,” Haught said. “We have a veteran group here, but they are open minded.”
He said the team is playing an entirely new offense and defense, but the players are adapting well. And although the record may not be where the team would like it, the head coach is optimistic with a group that has picked up many new concepts so quickly.
“We’ve had a strong non-conference schedule so far,” Haught said. “But with the exception of Edinboro and Mercyhurst, we have taken everybody to four or five sets. If we continue to compete, the wins will start to come.”