Liberty Bell High School appoints Beth Blank volleyball coach – Methow Valley News

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File photo by Joanna Bastian
Liberty Bell High School’s newest volleyball coach, Beth Blank, owns the Twisp Terrace Lodge with her husband, Eric.

Brings experience and enthusiasm to a new position

Beth Blank, local volleyball enthusiast and high school mom/volunteer, has been named to coach the girls at Liberty Bell High School for the fall 2022 season.

Blank, whose daughter Ellie will be a senior on the team this year, has participated in the Mountain Lion program, helping and learning under former coach Christine Scott for the past four years.

As a volunteer for the youth-focused Confluence volleyball development program under longtime club coaches Greg Knott and Gene Dowers for the past few years, Blank credits the two former high school coaches with tremendous mentorship in preparing her for the Liberty Bell post.

Knott is a former Liberty Bell coach while Dowers spent several years coaching the Pateros Nannies and is currently a high school volleyball official with WIAA State Championship Tournament experience on his resume.

The News caught up with Blank at the Wagner Memorial Pool after last Tuesday’s Killer Whales swim meet, where she was volunteering as a race judge. Her 14-year-old son, Gavin, is a member of the swim team.

The passion of the game

She only played one year of organized volleyball in high school in her hometown of Council Bluffs, Iowa, but developed a passion for the game almost immediately.

“I became a student of the game after that year in high school,” the new coach said. Since then she has attended a number of clinics where her learning curve has been steep and she has continued to grow in her interest, knowledge and love for the game.

Blank most recently coached junior high at Liberty Bell and volunteered at the high school level for several years while his daughter Ellie was on the team. Ellie returns to the program this fall for her senior year after taking time off from volleyball and tennis last year, recovering from major reconstructive knee surgery. She suffered extensive anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) damage during a tennis camp in the Seattle area last summer, forcing a one-year layoff from competition.

“I’m excited,” said the new coach. “We will have a very young team, and they have worked hard this summer. This group is very athletic, and we have a certain size. I look forward to using what I have learned to help rebuild the program over the long term.

Likewise, Liberty Bell operations manager Michael Wilbur is also high on his new staffer. “We are very happy to have Beth return to training at Liberty Bell,” he said. “She had previously coached at the junior level and did an incredible job. Beth is organized, energetic, has a clear vision for her program, and cares deeply about supporting her players, both as athletes and as people.

Wilbur pointed to Blank’s strong track record in the junior high curriculum, using the superlative “incredible” to describe his performance at that level. “She understands the importance of general athletic development – how strength and conditioning can help players excel on the field and develop habits of success. Beth is a great communicator and I anticipate parents and players alike will appreciate how well she explains what they can expect and what is expected of them.

Make Connections

Knott, a longtime volleyball guru in the field, echoes Wilbur’s enthusiasm. “There couldn’t be a better person for the job,” said the former Mountain Lion coach. She has an amazing way of connecting with girls and getting them to react.

Knott specifically highlighted her time coaching the junior high program and how she worked with the girls in the Confluence program. “She knows the kids and seems to be developing a strong bond with all of them,” he said. “She has a job ahead of her, but she has what it takes and has some good young athletes coming. She will be fine.

Blank replaces Christine Scott, who left the program last year after five years at the helm, moving to the Tri-Cities area during a family move.

“Replacing Coach Scott is no small task,” Wilbur said. “Christine understands the game well and is a very competitive person. We had good seasons while she was at the helm. Coach Blank understands where we are right now. Luckily, we also have some very dedicated and dynamic young players and Beth is going to do a great job of helping them through some growing pains and getting them to a point where they really thrive.

Blank lives in the Twisp area where she and her husband, Eric, own and operate the Twisp Terrace Lodge at the Rockchuck Ranch on Highway 20.

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