Looking forward

Published 10:57 pm Friday, July 21, 2017

Tigers girls’ swim, dive team gets new head coach

The Albert Lea swim and dive team will welcome a new head coach to start the 2017 season. David Voller will be the man at the helm of the girls’ swim and dive team.

Voller attended Cambridge-Isanti in high school, where he was a three-time participant in the state meet. He went on to University of Wisconsin-River Falls, where he graduated with a degree in physical and health education.

Not only was Voller on a swim team in high school, but he has also been coaching since the age of 16. He started teaching with the Cambridge Community Education Aquatics program, before becoming a volunteer for the Wayzata boys’ swim team. His latest coaching job was as assistant coach for the boys’ team at Cambridge-Isanti.

He is taking over a team that has been successful in the past. After a 2015 season saw the team take third place overall at the state meet, the team took a small step back in 2016, but still had two swimmers qualify for three events at the state meet.

Emily Taylor returns to the swim and dive team as a junior. Taylor swam in both the 50-yard freestyle and the 100 backstroke at both the section and state meets last season. – Jarrod Peterson/Albert Lea Tribune

Voller talked about his plans to keep the winning tradition alive in Albert Lea.

“I stress the small details of swimming,” Voller said. “Not only being on time, ready to go, but also key parts of swimming. These include technique, breathing patterns, wall work — all the little things that can win or lose a race. I like to keep my practices fun and competitive. I stay very involved in the practice, communicate and provide feedback to the athletes so we are constantly improving.”

The two swimmers who qualified for state in 2016 were junior Emily Taylor and freshman Jaeda Koziolek. Taylor competed in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100 backstroke. Koziolek swam in the 100 backstroke.

Voller talked about what it was like for him to come into a program with some talented young swimmers.

“It is very exciting,” Voller said. “It is a great building block for the program and gives me the opportunity to work with and develop as they progress through high school. Looking into the future of the program, it is exciting to have young talent to work with as we grow and become more competitive in the conference and section.”

Also returning to the team are seniors Emma Grossman, Lexie Simon, Emily Jensen, Jill Peterson, Natalie Nafzger and Lydia Boorsma, and junior Katie Funk.

Voller has three main goals for his swimmers as he enters his first year as head coach.

“Return swimmers to state,” Voller said. “Number two, section and conference academic champions. I am a huge believer in athletes succeeding in and out of the pool. As much as I want the swimmers to excel in the pool, I want them to exceed outside of it, as well.

“And finally, help the swimmers reach their own goals and break personal records.”

The Albert Lea girls’ swim and dive team will open its season at 6 p.m. Aug. 31 when it travels to Winona.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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