Armstrong
Armstrong
Mike Armstrong has been named volleyball coach at Shawe Memorial High School, the school announced this week.

Armstrong, who previously coached baseball at the school, is a Shawe graduate and has been involved with the school for more than 40 years. He has been a volleyball official for the past 25 years and is looking forward to taking over the Hilltoppers.

"I'm excited. I've officiated volleyball for 25 years and I've worked for a lot of good programs," Armstrong said. "Hopefully some of that has rubbed off on me."

Shawe went just 1-27 last season but that record was somewhat deceiving. The young Hilltoppers were in nearly every match they played, but lacked the experience to close out wins.

"It would get to 17-17 and then there might be a serve into the net," Armstrong said. "The game is really three parts I think: Good start, try to get a lead in the middle and hold on at the end. I think that second part was the downfall last year. A lot of close matches, but 16-16 would turn into 20-16 and then you're looking at slipping away. Hopefully close matches will turn into wins this year."

Armstrong got plenty of chances to watch the Hilltoppers in action last year thanks to the presence of his daughter, Jenna, who will be a junior next season. Armstrong admitted the chance to coach his daughter was an enticement in taking the job.

"I've coached my kids, both Matthew and Jenna, and I'm usually harder on both of them than the regular team," Armstrong said. "But it's a plus. It's always nice to spend time with your family. She has a close circle of friends. That's one thing about this team. They're very close. They're always hanging out together."

Armstrong will take over the team immediately and begin summer activities right away including open gym and once-a-week matches. A meeting will be held next week to introduce the new coach to the team.

Armstrong replaces Kelly Hill as head coach. Hill will be remain with the program and will serve as junior varsity coach.

"Kelly spent a great deal of time with these girls and I think she brought them a long way," Armstrong said. "I'm excited to have her involved."