Busby brings a love for volleyball to Washougal

New varsity coach looks to pass on the knowledge she has gained to current and future Panthers

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With her roots firmly planted in Camas and Washougal, Mandy Busby is ready to blossom.

After six years as an assistant volleyball coach at Evergreen High School in Vancouver, the 26-year-old accepted her first head varsity volleyball coaching position at Washougal High School. Busby also taught seventh-, fourth- and fifth-grade classes for the past three years at Gause Elementary School, in Washougal, before being offered her first continuing contract to teach fourth grade at Grass Valley Elementary School, in Camas.

“I am extremely excited to see what the next year brings,” Busby said. “My husband and I just bought a house in Camas. We’re going to be around this area for a while.”

Busby played volleyball for Evergreen High School, before graduating in 2002. She earned an associate’s degree from Mt. Hood Community College in 2004, and a bachelor’s from Concordia University in 2005. In August 2009, she received her master’s in Education from the Washington State University Vancouver campus.

During her time of teaching at Gause, Busby fell in love with the small town atmosphere at Washougal.

“I like how everybody knows each other. We’re all connected in some way,” she said. “It’s nice to live in a small town that has such big expectations.”

Busby said her high school coach Lori Piland helped her fall in love with volleyball. She played for Piland for four years, and then came back to coach with her for three more years. Busby is ready to pass on the knowledge she has gained to current and future Washougal Panthers.

“I want to establish a strong connection between the community, the middle schools and the high schools,” she said. “I love to see the kids grow from when they come into the gym for the first time to when they leave as seniors. ‘Team’ is a big area where I come from. It’s not one person that leads to success, it’s all of us working together that helps us achieve our goals.”

Coaching the junior varsity team will be Busby’s sister Carie Wolf, who played volleyball in high school and college.

“We both grew up playing the same volleyball, so we think we can coach the same volleyball,” Busby said.

Open gym for Washougal volleyball players begins Tuesday, June 22. The times are Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays, from 9 to 11 a.m.

“I’m excited for open gym, and getting to know all of the girls,” Busby said. “My expectations are for them to play hard, and to leave it all on the court. As long as you give it your all, great things will come from that.”