Longtime Coach to Helm RCC Volleyball Program
MEDFORD — Ospreys Athletics is proud to announce the hire of Christine Nelson as head coach for the inaugural season of women's volleyball at Rogue Community College.
Nelson brings more than two decades of experience coaching volleyball and basketball at the high school and collegiate levels. She comes to RCC from Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, Washington, which also competes in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC).
In her six-year tenure as head volleyball coach at Grays Harbor, Nelson was responsible for resurrecting the program after a seven-year hiatus. RCC Athletic Director Darren Van Lehn said he's eager to draw on her experience building a volleyball program.
“I am extremely excited to have Christine as our first head coach," Van Lehn said. "Building a program is a challenging task so to have someone who has experienced that process — as well as already competing in our conference — gives our program the best opportunity for success in year one.”
Van Lehn also praised Nelson's depth of experience both coaching and recruiting. She has coached for over 21 years at the club, high school and collegiate levels, and has already begun scouting unsigned athletes in the Rogue Valley.
“Christine’s skill at recruiting is something I highly value," Van Lehn said. "Her ability to find quality athletes from her local area and complete her roster with recruits from places like Alaska, Hawaii and Las Vegas will help Ospreys Athletics move into recruiting zones we previously had never touched.”
The Ospreys women’s volleyball program will begin its regular season Sept. 11. The team's home court will be at The Court House, 709 N. Phoenix Road in Medford.
RCC launched Ospreys Athletics in 2015. Volleyball becomes the third sport in the department's repertoire, which includes men's and women's soccer. The cross-country program was discontinued in 2018 due to low participation.
Nelson holds a bachelor’s in physical education from Pacific Lutheran University and a master’s in education from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to volleyball, she was head coach of the women’s basketball team at Grays Harbor College and previously served as assistant coach at Concordia University in Portland, where she helped rebuild that program. During that time, the Cavaliers won two Cascade Conference Championships and qualified for the NAIA National Tournament, making the Sweet 16 in the 2008-2009 season.
Ospreys will start spiking volleyballs in Northwest Athletic Conference South Division action in 2019.
“We are stoked,” said Rogue Community College athletic director Darren Van Lehn. “Bringing women’s volleyball to Rogue means more opportunity for local athletes to continue their athletic careers while earning a college education. It also means an exciting new sport for our fans.”
The Ospreys will make their first serve in divisional competition in August 2019. They join 33 other college programs in the NWAC.
RCC plans to hire a head coach this fall. “I look forward to working with our incoming head coach to build a competitive roster, continue to expand our athletics program, and further establish Rogue Community College as the Home of the Ospreys,” Van Lehn said.
Practice and games will be held at The Courthouse all-sport facility owned and operated by Don Berryessa at 709 North Phoenix Road in Medford. “It’s an amazing space,” Van Lehn said. “It’s great to be able to further integrate the Ospreys with the community that has been so supportive of us.”
The Courthouse manager Nicole Rosanelli agreed. "We are pleased to partner with Rogue Community College as the pilot year of the women's volleyball program is launched. Go Ospreys!”
RCC will first look locally for athletes, where volleyball is played at a high level. In the last two years, from 3A to 6A competition, Rogue Valley high schools have placed 14 teams in the state’s top ten. "We will also hold an open tryout in the spring 2019,” Van Lehn said. “We are looking for 8-15 women for our initial roster.”
Visit NWAC volleyball for more information.
|Opposing Team/Event||Location||Date & Time||Results|
|Oregon Tech||Klamath Falls, OR||August 2, 2019|
|SOU||Ashland, OR||August 13, 2019|
|Oregon Tech||Klamath Falls, OR||August 21, 2019|
|Fall Festival||Springfield, OR||August 24, 2019|
|Fall Festival||Springfield, OR||August 25, 2019|
|New Hope||Medford, OR||August 27, 2019|
|College of the Siskiyous||Weed, CA||September 2, 2019|
|SW Oregon||Coos Bay, OR||September 11, 2019|
|Crossover||Centralia, OR||September 13, 2019|
|Crossover||Centralia, OR||September 14, 2019|
|Mt. Hood||Medford, OR||September 20, 2019|
|Clark||Medford, OR||September 21, 2019|
|Clackamas||Oregon City, OR||September 27, 2019|
|Chemeketa||Salem, OR||September 28, 2019|
|Lane||Medford, OR||October 4, 2019|
|Linn Benton||Medford, OR||October 5, 2019|
|Umpqua||Roseburg, OR||October 11, 2019|
|Mt. Hood||Gresham, OR||October 18, 2019|
|Clark||Vancouver, WA||October 19, 2019|
|New Hope||Eugene, OR||October 23, 2019|
|Clackamas||Medford, OR||October 25, 2019|
|Chemeketa||Medford, OR||October 26, 2019|
|Lane||Eugene, OR||November 1, 2019|
|Linn Benton||Albany, OR||November 2, 2019|
|Umpqua||Medford, OR||November 8, 2019|
|SW Oregon||Medford, OR||November 12, 2019|