Ray Karter, the new girls’ varsity volleyball coach, only started playing volleyball in college at UC Berkeley after growing up in Hawaii and moving to Marin to attend Drake High School.
“I was a water polo player in high school, and I coached water polo before I coached volleyball… But water polo and swimming were my high school sports,” he said.
It wasn’t until college that he started to explore volleyball. “I didn’t know about college sports, and the college I went to at the time was the number one water polo team in the whole country. I had no chance of making the team. I got out after one day,” Karter said. “But my friend in the dorms said, ‘Hey, you should play volleyball. It’s really fun.’ And at the time, I didn’t really think about it. He’s 6’3”, I’m 5’7”. But I loved volleyball, and I’ve been playing since.”
After college, Karter began coaching. “When I graduated, I went to where some adults played…and they needed an assistant [coach]. It kind of happened organically from there,” he said.
Karter is glad he found his sport. “The thing I love most about volleyball is that it’s really a team game,” he said. “In almost every other sport, if you have a superstar, you won’t win without having a good team, but the superstar, say in basketball, can dribble from one end to the other and score. Of course the other team would shut them down, but in volleyball, to even get one team, three girls have to make a good play most of the time.”
Karter is still getting to know his team. “We’ve got some good athletes, and I hope that we play to our potential, which I don’t know what it is yet, we’re still finding it out,” he said. “We’re still learning our system, we’re still learning the way I want us to play, so it’s not natural on the floor yet, and I think we’ll do a lot better once we learn the system instinctively and are able to just relax and play. As far as win-loss, I don’t have any expectations yet because it’s impossible, I don’t have any history to base it on.”♦