The Jordan volleyball team hopes age is just a number.
That's because Jordan's new volleyball coach isn't much older then many of players.
Taylor Soine takes over the Jaguars volleyball program after the team suffered a tough 2018 season where they went 12-18, its worst record since 2012.
Soine was offered and accepted the head coaching position (and a teaching position in the district) before she graduated from Concordia University, St. Paul this past spring.
She brings a wealth of volleyball experience to the job. After playing at Chanhassen in high school, she moved on to Concordia, where she played for four years as a libero and helped her team win two NCAA Division II National Championships in 2016 and 2017.
Even though she is new to coaching, she knows what she wants from her team and her players.
"I just want the girls to play hard and have fun and not worry about the score — even though they will," she said. "I want them to play together and that's what the girls have said they want — to play together and have that communication piece that they didn't have in the past."
She continued, "I don't want the girls to worry about making mistakes because volleyball is a game of mistakes and that's how you win games — that the other team makes more mistakes then you do. A successful year for us would ultimately be having fun."
Soine also would like her players to take on a more team-first approach to the season.
"Our team philosophy is 'we over me,'" she said. "The 'we over me' is that we want the team over what you want as a player."
With that said, Soine is excited to see what this year's Jaguars can bring to the court.
"A lot of girls said they think they can make it to state," Soine said. "I think we can make it to state."
She said that knowing the section is very tough but what she has seen in practice and a few scrimmages shows it can be done.
"We have so many girls that can play and play the same position and it's so hard to pick who is going to play and who isn't and who is going to sub in and sub out," Soine said. "The girls are making it hard."
With a deep team it can be hard to figure out who will play but Soine said the team will run two setters with Makenna Johnson and Lizzie Horton sharing those duties.
Those two will run the offense and get the ball to some talented hitters on the roster like middle hitters Madi Kes, Payton Duis, and Morgan Nawrocki, outside hitters Joelle Weber, Riley Flynn, Bailey Reimer and right side hitters Lauren Schmidt and Ella Mahtoe.
Selena Dalton, Aysia Kim, Anna Stocker, and Molly Kes will also contribute to the team as liberos, defensive specialist or other positions when needed.
"We have a really deep bench," Soine said. "We have people to fill in if people get hurt or somebody is struggling in a match."
The Jaguars will start the season on Saturday as they take on St. Louis Park at Edina High School as part of the Breakdown Side Out Classic.
"I don't really get nervous," Sonie said. "I get more excited then nervous so I think the girls will be more nervous and I will be more excited."
They return to action on Tuesday against rival Belle Plaine before its first home game on Tuesday, Sept. 3 when they host Tri-City United.