Former Lady Warrior named volleyball coach

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Tanya Pyke isn’t one to just sit on the sidelines and watch the action as a spectator.

Anthony Welch - El Defensor Chieftain: Tanya Pyke, a 1987 SHS grad, played volleyball at New Mexico Highlands University.

The 1987 Socorro High School graduate prides herself on staying active in the community, more importantly with the schools.

Aside from her job at New Mexico Tech, Pyke takes to the court as a referee. She also writes about sports for El Defensor Chieftain as a contributing reporter.

Pyke has coached youth basketball and middle school volleyball in the past and is now looking to make any impact with high school athletes. She’s the new SHS head volleyball coach.

“I’m very proud to know as a product of my alma mater that I can bring back energy, dedication and have the ability to pass that on to kids coming through the system,” Pyke said.

She garnered numerous honors as a standout athlete at SHS. Following high school graduation, Pyke started on New Mexico Highlands University’s volleyball and basketball teams. She hopes that experience will come in handy and wants to see her players get similar opportunities.

“The potential for every one of these girls to play at the collegiate level is present,” Pyke said. “You don’t have to win state championships to get there.”

Even more important, Pyke hopes to show her players there’s much more than competition in volleyball.

“It can also help with life-building skills,” she added.

Last season, the Lady Warriors finished 8-13 overall under former coach Joni Mauldin. Pyke’s looking to improve that mark while implementing coaching traits she observed as a player at SHS herself.

“One of my coaches, Ken Leupold, always pushed us and was very knowledgeable,” she said. “He was so patient and willing to repeat drills until we got it down.”

Summer workouts have already begun and any interested players, high school and middle school, are invited to attend the sessions. The team meets at 6 a.m. at the high school track and then works out in the gym from 7 to 9 a.m. during the week. Players must have had a physical.

For more information, contact Pyke at 575-517-0358 or tpyke3190@gmail.com.