Arnold excited to lead growing Makos’ volleyball program

Tony Whitehead, GCM SPORTS
Posted 8/16/21

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - The Orange Beach Makos kick off their 2021 season in Class 2A, Area 1 in the AHSAA. The newest minted high school in Baldwin County will be led by head coach Jackie Arnold. …

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Arnold excited to lead growing Makos’ volleyball program

Posted

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - The Orange Beach Makos kick off their 2021 vollleyball season in Class 2A, Area 1 in the AHSAA.

The newly minted Makos' high-school program will be led by head coach Jackie Arnold. Arnold moved to the area from Oregon last September with 25 years of collegiate, high school, club coaching and program-directing experience.

She is a 10-time Coach of the Year with 14 state-playoff appearances including a third-place finish in the Oregon volleyball championships. Arnold is excited about the Makos’ potential this season and looking forward to building a strong program with two teams at the high school and the middle-school level each.

“With four varsity players transferring in and led by senior Hannah Marsh, we are working towards a higher finish in state. We are definitely stronger at setting and passing than the prior season and will capitalize on our hitting,” she said.

“We still are a very young team with the majority of sophomores on our roster,” she added. But she also expects a significant step up in performance now that a majority of them have club experience. And that all of her players on varsity now showing the benefits from playing the sport year round.

Joining her from Oregon will be her long-term associate coach Mike Asuncion who will bring over 30 years of experience. 

“He brings Hawaiian volleyball culture of defense and family,” Arnold said.  She will also be joined by first-year assistant Caleigh Gregorius (former Fairhope volunteer assistant 2020) as well as Kachelle Diehl who also has past volleyball officiating experience.  

“We also have a full-time weight-training coach – “Coach T” (Clay Templeton) who helps round out our strength, endurance and vertical work,” Arnold said.

The Makos start the season at home Aug 19 hosting Baldwin County High (in a tri-match) then will head to Mary Montgomery High for the Vikings’ annual two-day invitational tournament in Semmes this weekend.

Arnold said she had a number of influences in her career as a player and as a coach.

“My coaching Mentors were my Ursuline High (Ohio) Basketball coaches Matt Giambatista and Mike Popio. They helped me become a great college athlete and inspired me to be the coach who I am today. I also get to (continue) work as my full-time position with high school and college athletes across the country helping them get recruited through National Scouting Report (Birmingham Ala. based).” 

Visit the OBHS (BCBS.org) website or AHSAA.com for additional schedule updates or changes.