Chris Arbini could not be more thrilled to be tasked with overseeing the revival of volleyball at St. Louis Community College. The Archers’ first-year head coach, who is taking over the team and re-building the program after a one-year hiatus, has fully embraced the opportunity that lies before him.
“It’s a really exciting challenge,” Arbini said. “I’m honored and humbled to be given this opportunity. I’m really looking forward to a fun and successful season as we grow as a program.”
Archers volleyball was last seen in the fall of 2013, when it battled through a winless season at the Florissant Valley campus. After a year off, the program is back, having been moved to Meramec and received an infusion of an entirely new roster and new leadership. While the challenges are numerous, Arbini is confident his group is the right one to return STLCC volleyball to a prominent role within its athletics department.
“The cool thing about this team is that they are fearless,” Arbini said. “They are willing to try anything, they have no fear in terms of learning and expanding their own minds and own abilities.”
Arbini, who has coached at a variety of levels, including high school and club volleyball, is eager to take on each aspect of the head-coaching role at the collegiate level.
“I think what I enjoy the most about the collegiate level is that there’s a lot more stress on strategy and the mental aspect of the game,” Arbini said. Not to say that the technique is not important, because it is and it’s a lot of what we do. But the strategy becomes much more of the focus.”
Arbini has preached a consistent, methodical process to developing his program. With seven of his nine players joining the program as freshmen, daily progress has been the head coach’s mantra as the team readies itself for the regular season.
“I am always optimistic, but I’m always realistic. In some ways, I look at the scoreboard as a gauge of our training. We’ll go back tomorrow at practice, win or lose, and re-evaluate what we need to work on, and we need to keep training to get better, and that’s going to be our process. We use our games, our matches, to gauge what we need.”
The Archers will receive their first gauge Wednesday evening, when they host McKendree University in the regular season opener at the STLCC-Meramec campus. Game time is 7 pm.