By Mary Greenwood
Last season, the GCC ladies volleyball team made history by being the first volleyball team at GCC to win a national title. It was also Lisa Stuck’s first national title win as a coach. The team ended their season with a record of 18-13.
“It was a very surreal moment. You are in disbelief when it’s happening and there are such a mix of emotions: joy, happiness, excitement, and exhaustion. The team felt all those things and probably more. It’s hard to describe. It was sheer elation,” Coach Stuck said.
Lisa Stuck has been coaching for Maricopa Community Colleges for 25 years. While she loves coaching, She admits that, “it will always be different from getting out there and actually playing.”
Her “love for the game” started in elementary school where she was first introduced to the game.
It was love at first hit. From there, she went on to play at the high school at Apollo High School and at the college level at Arizona State University.
Coach Stuck was the first women’s volleyball player to be inducted into the ASU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993.
After she graduated, Stuck played in national teams across the country including the USA National Team and even got a chance to play in Canada.
After a long career, she decided it was time to retire from playing, but that did not mean she was not going to stop doing what she loved.
She began coaching at colleges all over the state such as Northern Arizona University and Mesa Community College before coming to coach at GCC.
Students and faculty admire Stuck for her work ethic as well as her passion for volleyball.
“She’s got a way of getting you to put all of your effort into everything we do. She’s tough but she’s not harsh and I think that’s a key reason as to why we’ve had such a great season,” Tara Melton, freshman Lady Gaucho volleyball player said.
“We have managed to have a successful regular season, but now that playoffs are here, it all changes. Everyone is equal and has a chance to win, It’s all about mindset, confidence and resiliency. All teams that are in the playoffs are capable of winning the title,” Stuck said.
Coach Stuck and the Lady Gauchos are headed to the playoffs this weekend in hopes of defending their national championship title.
GCC will compete against Scottsdale Community College on Friday while South Mountain Community College and Pima Community College compete. The winners of each match will face off Saturday for the championship game(s).