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On Saturday, November 6th 2021 guests flew in from Hawaii, the midwest, pacific northwest, and everywhere in between for a remarkable celebration honoring Denise Corlett who is the epitome of Stanford Volleyball, and carried her role for 31 years with grace, humility and so much program success. The amount of attendees who made the trip was simply incredible. Truly no surprise; everyone in attendance would do anything for ours truly, Denise Corlett. We are so thankful to everyone that made the day unforgettable! All have been touched by Denise’s generous heart. The Legacy and Impact she has left on Stanford Volleyball will remain. 

Over the course of the evening stories were shared from some of our guests about how Denise’s legacy and impact has affected them; Katie Goldhahn, our master of ceremony, shared one of her own stories as she so eloquently closed the evening. She shared that “In 2018, I asked Denise if she would help out at Encore, note that she had said no to club volleyball for many years, but somehow I convinced her to be a part of youth volleyball again. Since then, her impact has been monumental.  Her ‘volunteering’ consisted of her taking red eye plane flights after recruiting for Stanford all weekend just to show up for the last day for our team’s qualifier.  The commitment was incredible, but not surprising.  Did I mention Kathryn Plummer and Morgan Hentz were our assistants as well?  Denise Corlett, Kathryn Plummer and Morgan Hentz - come on!  Our kids are being trained by the best in the game. Since departing from Stanford, Denise has been full time in this space, and I know I can speak for everyone at Encore and LEMO, we are blessed. So, as we talk about Legacy and Impact with Denise Corlett, I want you to know that it didn’t stop when her tenure at the Farm did.  She is continuing to train, develop, and influence these young ladies in our community.  Her impact is immense. I’m so thankful that I get to share this next chapter with her, after Stanford volleyball, doing what she loves.  I’m grateful.  Encore is grateful. LEMO is grateful.”

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On April 23rd - 25th, our team competed with the best athletes, best teams, and best clubs in the nation at the 2021 USAV 18s Juniors National Championships. Never did I think I would be flying back from Columbus, Ohio in the midst of a pandemic with a top 10 finish with our Encore 18 Goldhahn squad. It was at this moment that I could not be more proud to represent Encore Volleyball and this group of young women. 

Our path was one for the books - we started building our squad at 16U and after 3 years, our team was finally able to confidently say “we are going to medal at Nationals”.  This year we talked about it and believed it.  While 10th place isn’t gold, silver or bronze, it’s the process that matters. Never once did this group waiver. In the current season, we trained for 8 months, played in 2 tournaments, and finished at the top tournament with people talking about Encore Volleyball. Our athletes had 4 coaches demanding excellence day in and day out, yet these kids stayed committed to the journey. Extra practices, extra workouts, extra film sessions… the list goes on and on. They did the ‘extra’ because they believed that ‘extra’ works.  

In a world of instant gratification, impatience, and perfection, I’m here to say that volleyball doesn’t follow that blueprint. This was a 3 year journey. This was a ‘buy-in’ from players, parents, coaches, the club, and leadership. This was a sacrifice. A sacrifice for a top 10 finish. This reminds us how much more work we have yet to do.How do we get to #1? How do we become a threat at every age group in the Open division? How do we become the club that every college wants to recruit from? Our work is cut out for us. It is a journey, but it is possible. Here’s what I know: Northern California volleyball  gained a little respect last weekend. We must do more. To the younger athletes in the club and  in the region: start the work now… whether your chance in the spotlight is this year, or in 3 years - be ready! Know you did everything in your power to prepare to be your best.  

I know my team did everything in their power to be their best.  Encore prepared them to be their best, and for that I am grateful. FInishing 10th place is not first place. We had some disappointing, pivotal matches in Ohio that could have changed our fate, however I walked away from the court beaming with pride. These girls made me excited to walk in the gym every day, their parents were insanely supportive, and a leadership team that made it all possible. I know we taught them grit and what working hard really means.  They are a part of a family forever and will leave a legacy for all future Encore athletes to emulate. As many of our young women head off to college, they will take with them this amazing journey and a piece of Encore and what we represent: Commit. Unite. Compete. 

Thank you ladies for such a special season. I wish you all the best.  

Your biggest fan,
Coach Katie Goldhahn

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