The Linn Benton Volleyball (LBVB) team is dominating the season, currently holding a 13-0 record in league and a remarkable 38-0 overall. At the helm is long-time coach Jayme Frazier, who hit a career milestone just a few weeks ago, surpassing 500 total victories.
Frazier has coached 23 years at Linn Benton Community College (LBCC), starting in 1993. Prior to coaching at LBCC she coached high school volleyball and basketball in the Roseburg area and also at Venice High School and Beverly Hills High School.
“What I will say about 500 is that it took many years to get those early victories,” said Frazier. “I was a young coach in a field of very successful veteran coaches in the Southern region of the NWAC (Northwest Athletic Conference).”
Frazier said she had many frustrating nights where she wasn’t sure if she had what it took to create a successful program, and that she had to define success in her own opinion.
“For me it became focusing on players’ academic and career goals,” said Frazier. “I understood that if we kept that at the forefront, it always gave us proper perspective.”
Recently, a few LBVB players made it onto the NWAC Academic Excellence team, which consists of sophomore players with a 3.25 cumulative GPA. This includes Lindee Elmblade, Michelle Sand, Samantha Rouleau, and Mailie Rube. Rube, who played under Frazier for two years at LBBC, explained the kind of influence that Frazier has on her players.
“She helps us stay on track in the classroom, on the court and outside of all that in our lives,” said Rube. “She sets standards for us and helps us learn and grow but also teaches us to push ourselves and others to where we want to be. She’s kind of like a mom to all of us.”
Frazier also learned that she needed to leverage all the resources available to her players on campus. She started utilizing the learning center, tutoring, counseling, media relations department and many of the people on campus that could assist with student needs.
“The LBCC family has always had at its core the desire to help students succeed, so everyone was willing to help in any way possible,” said Frazier.
But what attributes to accumulating 500 career wins? You don’t just stumble into that kind of success without knowing a thing or two about coaching.
“Jayme likes to strive for a culture of excellence,” said sophomore Ellie Verschingel. “She doesn’t focus on the wins and losses, she just focuses on what is going to improve our team. She sets our goals high and she truly cares about each of her players, on the court and off, which makes us have a tremendous amount of respect for her.”
Frazier also said that the team itself did not ever plan on going undefeated, rather making sure they represented the South region as the number one or number two seed. And although Frazier says that 500 is no doubt special, she says it’s more than the number that gives her a sense of pride.
“It has been seeing teams come together in special ways or the tight bonds that are created between teammates that last a lifetime,” said Frazier. “I enjoy seeing players get their associates degree here at LB or move on to get degrees at four year institutions, then move on into successful careers.”
LBVB has their last home match this Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. The game will also be “Sophomore Night,” recognizing sophomores Alyvia Sams, Chase Bohman, Mindy Wilmes, Sydney Amundsen and Ellie Verschingel. The Roadrunners look to close out the season undefeated and carry that momentum forward, into the NWAC playoffs.
Story by Nick Fields