New Las Positas College women’s volleyball head coach Gary Reznick is excited about the team’s promise and wants to help open doors at all levels for young prospects.
A former setter at Division I Cal State Northridge, Reznick was hired in the spring to replace former Las Positas head coach Tracee Byrd, after serving as her assistant for two years to roll out the Hawks’ program. He can see nothing but green lights ahead.
“It’s really exciting to see how the program has improved year over year,” Reznick said. “I would say that this team heading into this spring season is by far the best team that Las Positas has had.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the college volleyball season, normally held in the fall, was pushed back to February as part of a state contingency plan.
About eight years ago Reznick felt “a calling” to return to coaching and teaching, so he started the East Bay Volleyball Academy, which he reported continues to grow.
“I really want to help these kids make playing at the next level a reality,” he said of his philosophy.
Reznick seems well-placed at Las Positas with his high-level background and ability to connect with and develop players. The Hawks always look to draw talent from the powerful East Bay Athletic League.
“We have a really strong volleyball culture in the Tri-Valley area,” he said. “It’s been a passion of mine over the past several years to get a volleyball program started at Las Positas because of that. With the formation of the program two years ago, it finally put Las Positas College on the map within the volleyball community.
Las Positas athletic director James Giacomazzi was wowed by Reznick’s resume and his giving nature. When the college hosted the state basketball tournament in the 2016-17 season, Reznick was quick to volunteer at a time when East Bay Volleyball Academy was an outside renter on campus.
“He’s a team player. He never brings any problems to me; he just brings solutions,” Giacomazzi said of Reznick. “I like that and appreciate that about him.”
As a top player, Reznick helped Cal State Northridge finish second in the 1993 NCAA Men’s Volleyball tournament, when they fell to UCLA in the final. He also played with the USA National Team in the U.S. Olympic Festival in the summer of 1993.
“I had such a great experience playing through college, I know what it did for me as far as forming my work ethic and my character and competitiveness,” he recalled.
His current Hawks squad boasts a strong nucleus, including returners Rachel Dayton, a setter, out of Amador Valley and Kimball high schools; Jordynn Zemlock, a middle blocker, out of Mountain House; Krystal Tempra, a libero, from Lathrop; and Rachel Rockwell, a middle, out of Granada. Key freshmen newcomers are Amador Valley products Sophia Moore and Phoebe Monette. Madison Weiland of Castro Valley High returns to the program from La Verne University in SoCal.
Reznick said several of his club players have moved on to college play, and he looks to continue the upward trend at Las Positas.
“That is the ultimate goal for our players, is to move on,” he said. “Now, whether they go play Division I or II or III or NAIA or community college, it really doesn’t matter. It just gives them the opportunity to continue to play and create the discipline they can use to go on later in life.”