FONDA — When former Fonda-Fultonville volleyball coach Ashleigh Griswold called her to ask her to coach, Miranda Nethaway was excited to help out.
However, when Griswold decided to step down, Nethaway became Fonda-Fultonville’s new head coach.
“High school-wise this is my first coaching job,” said Nethaway, a 2016 Fonda-Fultonville graduate. “Coach [Ashleigh] Griswold left me a message asking me if I wanted to coach. I had no idea it was to coach the varsity team.”
Nethaway’s only other coaching experience came in one season with the Sacandaga Volleyball Club.
Ready or not, Nethaway is looking forward to her first season with Fonda-Fultonville, where she was a graduate just five years ago.
“I don’t think my age will be a problem. I think I’m young enough to do all the things that I show them, which helps,” Nethaway said.
The first-year coach inherits a roster that features just one senior.
“I couldn’t be happier. This is such a great group of girls to work with,” she said. “They are all extremely coachable. We have great players in every position.”
Marilyn Whitcavitch is the lone senior on the roster, which also includes juniors Amber Cole, Aianna Christman, Alexia Stephens, Avery Vainauskus, Madison Beardsley and Maddy Mott. Rounding out the roster are sophomores Samara Hunt, Olivia Linart, Kieonna Christmas and Alex Nordby; and freshman Jordan Miller.
Nethaway wasn’t sure how her team would fare this season, having seen them only in practice.
“I wasn’t sure how we were going to do this year. We only have one senior on our roster,” Nethaway said. “After our scrimmage Wednesday, I feel pretty good about where we stand.”
The first-year coach said her team fared well in the Western Athletic Conference scrimmage against Middleburgh, Canajoharie-Fort Plain, Schoharie and Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville.
“Practice is a nice way to hone skills and get a feel for things, but when you play matches things are different,” Nethaway said. “You don’t know how things will go when the adrenaline gets going in a scrimmage or game. And you don’t know what’s coming from the other team.”
Nethaway, who just finished her master’s degree at Sage earlier this summer, played collegiately for Fulton-Montgomery Community College. She was named FMCC’s women’s Athlete of the Year in 2017 after competing for the women’s volleyball, women’s basketball and softball teams. She also shared MVP honors for the volleyball team with Jenna Putnam.
After FMCC, Nethaway played volleyball at Sage College.
Now Nethaway returns to the school that she played for in high school.
“It’s definitely nostalgic to be coaching at the school I went to,” Nethaway said. “A lot of things are still the same, but there are so many different things, like the new gym.”
Fonda-Fultonville has also returned to the Western Athletic Conference since Nethaway’s playing days.
“When I played, we were in the Colonial Council,” Nethaway said. “I’m excited for them to play local teams. Seeing familiar faces is going to be a cool experience. I’m so excited for the season. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Nethaway will be assisted by Teri Brandt, who will also coach the junior varsity team.
“She’s been my blessing in disguise this year,” Nethaway said. “She’s been coaching for 20 years and she’s been awesome.”
Fonda-Fultonville is slated to open its season Thursday, hosting Duanesburg in a Western Athletic Conference contest at 6 p.m.