By Claire Crittendon – Features Editor
Since August, recent Lasell graduate Olivia Addington has been serving along- side Dana Jones as assistant coach to the women’s volleyball team. Graduating from Lasell in May 2019 with a degree in public relations, Addington was also hired this September as an admission counselor.
Addington played as a starter for women’s volleyball during her four years as an under- graduate student. She joined Angele Lavoie Piotrowski (‘07) as the only two players in school history to break 1,000 career digs and 1,000 career kills during her tenure at Lasell. The California-native finished her career with 1,325 kills (ranking second in school history) and 1,177 digs (fourth most). In her junior year campaign, Addington broke the record for kills in a match (27) as well as records for kills in a three-set match (19) and the standard in a four-set match (22) established in 2016.
From player to coach
Addington described the transition from player to coach as a weird but fulfilling switch. “The first tournament, when I didn’t hear my name being called from the starters list, that’s kind of when it first hit me,” said Addington.
“Being a coach, it’s definitely completely different but it’s also another type of excitement. Being able to tell someone something to fix [their] form or maybe they should try this during a game, and then seeing the results from that,” Addington said, “you get a certain amount of pleasure and joy from that.”
Because Addington was a member of the team just last year, she admitted to worrying about the dynamic of coaching her once- teammates. “There was definitely that moment when I was getting hired that I was like, oh man, are they going to respect what I say?” But she says she has had no such issue. In part, she thanks the fact that she was a captain during her junior and senior years. “They’re such great girls that they do understand the line of respect,” said Addington.
Addington prides herself on being able to relate to her players, as she has spent many years in their shoes. “I’m able to pull them aside [during games] and be like, ‘hey, what’s up? Tell me what’s wrong, how can I help? How can I fix this?’ … I know every single emotion that can go through their heads, because I’ve done it for the past eight years, having those emotions on the court” said Addington.
Junior Meghan Carroll said, “I played with Olivia for two years before this year and she is an amazing player. Even as a player, she was always giving me advice on how to improve. Now having her as a coach, it’s no different. She is always giving me ways on how the team and us as individuals can be better volleyball players and leaders. She really knows the game and how to teach it.”
Addington is enjoying working with her old coach, Jones. “[He] has some amazing philosophies that he follows,” she said. Her and Jones work to incorporate her past experiences to adjust things such a pre-game drills to fully benefit the players. While she says her and Jones don’t have identical coaching styles, they work very well together.
In addition to coaching, Addington also works in the office of admissions as an admission counselor. When she was a student, she joined the Blue Key Society in 2016 and worked as a student ambassador until her graduation.
Director of Admissions Yavuz Kiremit said working with Olivia has been amazing. “Olivia was a wonderful ambassador to the college, was a wonderful tour guide and when we had this position open this past fall … we knew that she would be a fantastic admissions counselor,” said Kiremit.
Addington is amazed by the talent and growth her players continually display, and her players and employers confidently say the same about her.