Young coach leads Ozaukee volleyball

Depies wants to speed up the offense, teach lessons beyond the sport
Ozaukee Press staff

Ozaukee High School’s new volleyball coach skipped spending years as an assistant before taking over a varsity program.

Vanessa Depies, 21, is jumping right into a head coach position.

While new to running a prep volleyball program, she has high school and college experience in the sport.

Depies played outside hitter for Cedar Grove-Belgium High School. At the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, she was president and vice president of the volleyball club and a team captain. She also co-coached a junior varsity team for Green Bay Preble.

She wants the Warriors to run a quick offense that entails shorter passes to the setter for a fast offense.

“It’s something they haven’t run for a while,” she said.

While meeting with the team for contact days and sending them drills to do on their own, Depies said she emphasizes the new offense and the fact that defense wins games.

“I’m sure they’re sick of practicing it right now,” she said. “It’s starting to get programmed in their minds.”

Depies said she would like to run a 5-1 offense to provide more options for big hitters in the front row but said last year’s setter graduated and she will adjust her offense as the talent allows. She said several good setters are on the team.

“I keep telling them I never saw them play before so anyone has a shot at it,” Depies said.

Volleyball, she said, provides lessons beyond sports.

“What I like about it is you learn a lot more than just playing volleyball,” she said.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’m trying to teach the girls that a sport can teach you a lot more than just learning to love the game.”

Ozaukee High School Athletic Director Andy McKee said Depies impressed the interview committee with her poise and enthusiasm.

“Although it was an easy decision to make, the first time I saw her working with the girls I knew we had made the right choice,” McKee said.

Now, Depies has to learn what not to wear to practice. She showed up in Cedar Grove-Belgium’s orange and black, something her players instantly noticed.

 “It’s all I have,” Depies said she told them.

A new coach isn’t the only adjustment Warriors’ players are making this season. They wear masks during practice, which Depies said affected their stamina.

“Their bodies aren’t trained to do three hours of activity,” she said.

Depies is living at home in Cedar Grove as she finishes her final semester at UW-Green Bay online. Her major is political science, public administration and criminal justice. She also works as a resident assistant at Pine Haven Christian Communities in Shebogyan Falls.

Depies takes over for Paul Jungbauer, who is Port Washington High School’s coach this season. He coached the Warriors from 2016 to 2019.

The Warriors have outside hitter Sydnie Stadler, a Big East first team selection, set to return for her senior year.

Last year, the Warriors beat the Rockets in four games in the Division 3 playoffs before being swept by No. 1 seed Dominican.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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