With sports and school back in action this semester, new Lassen Community College Volleyball Head Coach Julia Erickson is happy to be back in the gym and is ready for the year.
“I want to make Lassen volleyball competitive again. After the long covid year off a lot of athletes lost their drive to play. The girls who have signed up to play this year have heart and guts. This first year is going to be rocky, as expected with a team full of freshmen, but it is a chance to get the team out on the court and competing again,” Erickson wrote.
The new coach has a history on the court. She played her high school career at Granada Hills Charter High School where she led her team to a Division 1 Los Angeles City championship and was named defensive player of the year. Erickson specialized late in her career as a libero and defensive specialist. She went on to compete in collegiate indoor and beach volleyball at the community college level, NAIA level and NCAA level.
After closing out her college career in Iowa, she returned to California and earned her masters in coaching and athletic administration in 2019 and added to her masters with coaching and exercise science in 2020. Both programs were completed at Concordia University in Irvine.
She has coached beach and indoor volleyball at the high school, club and collegiate level.
However, it took Erickson some time before she found her passion for volleyball.
“Volleyball was actually the last sport I tried as a kid. I played basketball, baseball and football prior to playing volleyball. Whatever my Dad was coaching, that is what I was playing. He was my first volleyball coach and I quickly became a gym rat,” she shared.
“I could never get enough touches or time in the gym, which is actually how I started coaching. When I was still in college I started coaching youth volleyball as a way to make some extra money and spend more time in the gym. I loved seeing the progress athletes made and how their love for the sport increased as they improved.”
Now, the Granada Hills, California native is setting her sights on a competitive program at Lassen Community College. She even noted how some early challenges is helping bring the team together.
In the beginning of the school year, athletes were temporarily relocated to Humboldt State University to practice away from the smoke, and again when the dorms were briefly relocated. This change of pace helped bring the team closer.
“I loved the experience we had at Humboldt. We had the opportunity to use their indoor and sand court in addition to their weight room. We were spoiled with resources and our team got much closer. It was also a unique time for the girls to see what a four year school looks like and what is possible at the next level,” Erickson wrote.
Erickson is grateful for the Susanville community in her first few months living in the area.
“Moving from Los Angeles to Susanville this past summer has been a huge adjustment. I am so appreciative of the support I have already received from several people on campus and in town. Lassen Volleyball will become a known name in the conference and in the state, it is just a matter of time.”