The Master’s University women’s volleyball team will enter 2018 with hopes of pushing into the top half of its conference standings and with yet another world-class volleyball player on its coaching staff.
Over the offseason, Master’s hired Annett Davis, a former Pac-10 Player of the Year at UCLA and a participant at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, to join the staff of fifth-year head coach Allan Vince, himself a Bruin alum and former pro.
Davis’ volleyball resume stretches across the college, professional and Olympic ranks. She helped UCLA win a national title as a freshman in 1991, was the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 1994 and was a two-time, first-team All-American.
She played professionally in Greece and competed at the 2000 Olympics in beach volleyball, placing fifth.
What does the stellar profile mean for TMU?
“When the team heard about who she was and what she’d done, they saw her as an inspiration,” Vince said of Davis, who was inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame in 2015. “She knows where they’re at in life and will be able to motivate and encourage them, using volleyball as a tool.”
The Mustangs return all but three players from a young team that went 11-17 last season. Senior setter Kayla Sims, within striking distance of the program’s all-time assists record, has already seen Davis make an impact in the first week of practice.
“She sees what exactly we’re doing wrong and can correct us right away and give us feedback,” Sims said.
For Davis, the job was an opportunity to further explore a side of sports she experienced in a limited sense as a player.
“When I was a player, I was a Christian,” she said. “It was: God, family, and then sports. Here it’s kind of the same thing. Except when I played, God wasn’t the focus of our team. But it was for me personally. I think it’s neat to be in a place where you can put God first in your sport. We can openly talk about it. Those kinds of things are really cool.”
Also cool, having two coaches with the same high-profile alma mater. But does the UCLA connection provide any extra camaraderie?
“Not a huge thing,” Davis said, smiling and shaking her head. “But we’re, of course, proud Bruins.”
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