By Nelson Coffin
Volleyball was not exactly a lost cause at Friends School before David Thorne came onto the scene this season.
After all, the Quakers had been competitive, posting winning records the past three seasons before Thorne’s arrival.
What Friends lacked was earning the ultimate goal, garnering just one C Conference championship — in 2010 — since 1999.
In just one season, however, Thorne changed all that by claiming the C Conference crown by defeating St. Timothy’s in four sets (25-23, 18-25, 25-18, 25-23) at Goucher College last month.
The Quakers finished with a stellar 14-2 overall record and went 7-1 in league play.
“David Thorne came in this season as a new coach and took our school by storm,” Friends athletic director Kara Carlin said. “He is organized, patient and an awesome coach.”
Noting that the Quakers reached the final three of last four years only to come away empty, she said that Thorne’s expectations motivated the team toward its lofty goal.
Not only were expectations for his players high, she said, they were just as high or higher for himself.
Other attributes include his ability to mentor the entire roster.
“Whenever possible, he played everyone on his team, which lead to long nights in the gym taking opponents to four or five sets,” she said. “But his methods and inclusive coaching style were unparalleled.”
“Coach Dave’s enthusiasm was contagious and always made us feel like we were his first priority,” Friends junior Isabella Foust said.