LBCC Volleyball – An Interview with Head Coach Jayme Frazier
Editor’s note: This interview was completed following the Roadrunners’ victory over Clark on October 4. The statistics referenced in the following article reflect that date.
With the NWAC regular season drawing to a close, The Commuter interviewed Linn-Benton head volleyball coach Jayme Frazier about the incredible season her team is having. The Roadrunners are defending NWAC champions, having finished the 2022 season with a 34-1 record alongside their conference trophy. While fans are hoping for a repeat, Coach Frazier maintains her focus on the present.
After 23 games in 2023, Linn-Benton remains undefeated, having been taken to five sets only once. Propelled by returning players from the 2022 title team, such as Grace Boeder, Linn-Benton fields a slew of freshmen who have stepped in to pick up where departing players left off.
Named head coach of the Roadrunners in 1993, Jayme Frazier has been leading Linn-Benton’s volleyball team every year except 2000. Frazier’s successes with the team are numerous and Roadrunner fans are hoping the ride continues.
I’ll start with the obvious, are you thinking about an undefeated season?
We are not actively focused on the outcome of perfection or an undefeated season. Our mantra has been to focus on the details in practice, bring maximum energy and effort each practice and match, and control what we can control – and the outcome takes care of itself.
Your team stands at 23-0 and has a 69-6 record in sets played. Tell us a little about how that feels.
An undefeated season can come with more pressure, of course – especially if the team believes it important to strive for perfection. We just work to focus on one match at a time.
Going back to last season, Linn-Benton has won 42 consecutive matches, too. What qualities of the team do you credit for such an amazing winning streak?
The sophomores always do a good job of bringing into the next season what they enjoyed or felt would be important in order to maintain excellence. They are open to leading by example and the freshman class has added more athleticism, growth mindset, and competitive spirit to the mix.
How many returning players do you have?
We have five returners this year (five sophomores).
Your statistics this season include a 24-set winning streak starting with Edmonds and ending with Skagit Valley; what does that do for the confidence of the players?
I believe that they understand that they are a target and have to work to improve every single practice. They know they can’t be satisfied with what we did last month or even last match. Every team watches film and prepares.
What makes your practices so effective?
We focus on the basics: competitive effort, teamwork, ball control and then specific skills that seem to need the most attention at that moment. Additionally – the layer that so often gets overlooked is that we have to stay strong and healthy in order to be effective on the court. The team has been working on strength and conditioning in the weight room with Jake Forshey since the start of season. Russell Yap is our athletic trainer who assists in keeping them on the court with therapy and everything that goes along with maintaining a healthy practice and competitive environment.
What word would you use to describe your players?
Driven and spirited, and honestly so open to learning each day. I see this on the court and in their study habits. They work hard to succeed in classes and help each other study or understand concepts when they are struggling.
How has the team evolved over the season and since last year?
Every year and every team brings its own challenges. That is what makes it so interesting. It is always a puzzle for me to figure out how to help the team come together to achieve these common goals on the court and in the classroom. This year we had many new players come to the program since so many sophomores graduated last year. I knew the biggest challenge was to get the freshman to figure out the culture and then add their own strengths and personalities all while building confidence that they too could compete and continue this tradition of excellence here at Linn-Benton.
You’ve only played one game this season that went the full distance to five sets; what made them so competitive?
Skagit Valley is a strong team. They came at us right from the start. We made more unforced errors early so we had to work our way back. We have discussed that we cannot take mental breaks or come unprepared or without a full effort. That was a good lesson for this team that everyone will bring their best against us.
As the defending champions, do you feel pressure to repeat?
We just focus on the next match.
What would another NWAC South title mean to this team?
It is always great to win the region title. The NWAC South is a strong competitive region year after year and always competes well in the NWAC tournament. It is special for any team to be at the top.
What are the team’s goals for the remainder of the season?
I am sure they would say – just keep winning! I like that about them – just matter of fact. I would say that we need to keep our eyes on the little details that make a big difference in the process and eventual outcome.
With the team firing on all cylinders, what does the team look to improve upon?
Every day we come in with a team focus and/or an individual goal. We are constantly working on our ball control in every aspect of the game. They all understand that they can always improve in something.
While Roadrunner fans are ecstatic with such incredible successes on the court so far in 2023, they can only be left wanting more. As the NFL’s 2007 Patriots taught sports fans, a title trumps an unbeaten regular season – and Linn-Benton faithful would be wise to keep this mind as the regular season plays out. With razor-sharp focus, talented players, and a thirst for victory, Linn-Benton fans are excited to see the rest of the season unfold.
Frazier reached 700 career coaching wins this season following a September 30 victory over Rogue, a tremendous achievement for any coach of any sport.
At a glance:
Occupation: Head coach of the Linn-Benton Community College women’s volleyball team
Education: Eastern Oregon University, Western Oregon University, Oregon State University
Years at LBCC: 30
Linn-Benton Volleyball Team Website: