Rock Valley’s new coaches doing a strong job filling big shoes

Sports

When Rock Valley College lost both of its head basketball coaches after last season there was some uncertainty about what to expect this season. Well, midway through this season RVC is getting the same results from both it’s men’s and women’s teams as in past seasons..lots of wins.

The men’s team is off to a 12-2 start overall and 2-0 in the N4C conference. The women’s team is 11-5 and 2-0 in the conference.

Tim Sandquist is the men’s head coach. He replaced Evan Lavery.  

“I’m really lucky to have inherited a really good group of guys and some talented sophomores, so they’ve made it easy for me,” says Sandquist.

The women’s head coach is Taylor Ignoto. She replaced RVC legend Misty Opat. Opat won four national championships at Rock Valley. Ignoto says replacing Opat was a little tougher than she thought it would be.

“It’s not more pressure,” says Ignoto. “I wouldn’t say that. Just an aspect of yea people saw her as a legend and I’m young and this is my first head coaching job so you kind of have to gain that respect first.”

Sophomore Maddie Hecox says along with the coaching change came a completely different style of basketball for the RVC women. “Offensively and defensively they’re a lot different. Opat had that structured offense where as  Taylor is kind of you read your defense and your team sets you up to be successful and to score.”

The men’s team also had adapted to a new style.

“We’re more up and down,” says sophomore Josh Streeter. “Last year we were kind of halfcourt set. The new coach is great. We run plays but a little bit of freedom within the plays.”

Both coaches like the balance their teams have and they way the players share the basketball.

“We have kids that really, really share the ball and they want each other to succeed,” says Ignoto. “We average 17 assists a game and that’s sixth in the nation right now.”

“We have five, six guys who have consistently been able to score in double figures,” says Sandquist. “That’s great balance. I also think it makes us hard to stop and it makes us hard to defend because you don’t know who’s going to step up that night.”

The RVC men and women will host a doubleheader Wednesday evening against conference rival Triton. The Triton men are the defending NJCAA D-2 national champions.

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